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Bank robbery suspect is still at large

Modified: Monday, Mar 4th, 2013

Atascadero News photo courtesy of APD • A photo of the Pacific Western Bank robbery suspect was taken from a security camera at Chase Bank in Atascadero about an hour before the bank robbery occured.

ATASCADERO — A woman suspected of robbing Pacific Western Bank in the Vons center near Starbuck’s is still at large and being sought by the Atascadero Police Department and the FBI.

According to the APD, the robbery occurred on Thursday, Feb. 14 just after 4 p.m. APD Sgt. Gregg Meyer said the suspect did not use a weapon during the robbery, but passed the teller a note. He said he does not know if the note stated that she had a weapon of some sort.

“She’s probably a professional, not from the area,” Meyer said.

The APD obtained photos of the suspect from Chase Bank in Atascadero, taken about an hour before Pacific Western Bank was robbed. Meyer said he speculates that she may have been planning to rob that bank, but something got her attention and she left. While she was captured on camera, Meyer said that she was not doing banking business at Chase Bank.

“She had what is called a demand note, that she showed the teller,” Meyer said. “The teller followed her instructions and she left — very quickly.”

Meyer said it is typical protocol for tellers — and cashiers in other businesses — to comply with demands for their safety.

Meyer said that she is also suspected of robbing a credit union in Pacific Grove on Dec. 31, 2012, because the suspect is of a similar age and style. During that robbery, the suspect exhibited a firearm that she had in her purse.

“It’s not typical to see an older female committing bank robberies,” Meyer said.

Although it is believed that the suspect has left the area, officers are asking for the public’s assistance in locating the suspect. The police department asks that if the suspect is familiar in anyway to call the APD immediately. To report any information related to the crime, call 461-5051.

For the complete article see the 02-27-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 02-27-2013 paper.

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