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Bald bank robbery suspect hides in barber shop, but escape plan doesn't cut it

By By ERICA RODRIGUEZ
July 14, 2010 at 2:14 a.m.

Barber Martin Gutierrez acted as if it was business as usual when a bank robbery suspect, David Michael Hall, entered the Victoria Barber Shop on Louis Street and just sat down in the waiting area. Police phoned the barber shop after eyewitnesses saw the suspect go in, then stormed the back door and arrested Hall.

A bank robbery suspect was caught Wednesday after hiding in a barbershop and stuffing cash in his pants.

David Michael Hall, 32, of Corpus Christi, entered Trust Texas Bank at 2109 N. Laurent St. about 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, according to police.

The suspect passed a note to a teller demanding money, said Capt. Jesse Turner with the Victoria Police Department. After receiving the money, the suspect fled on foot.

No one was hurt in the robbery, but the suspect did threaten having a weapon. Turner would not say how much money was taken.

Police then received tips from the public about where the man fled, Turner said.

The suspect, who was wearing a polo shirt and blue jeans, ran to the nearby Victoria Barber Shop at 1706 Louis St.

Martin Gutierrez, the shop's manager, said he was cutting a customer's hair about 9:50 a.m. when the man walked in, sat down and started reading a magazine.

Gutierrez said he was suspicious because the man was bald and sweating.

"I know he didn't need no haircut because he didn't have no hair," he said, laughing.

Gutierrez said the man carried in a blue bag, went into the bathroom and returned without the bag.

Gutierrez then got a call from police asking if the man was in the barbershop.

"They asked me if he had any weapons and I looked at him and said, 'I don't see any' and a couple seconds later, the police stormed the backdoor and the front door," he said.

Gutierrez said he watched as police searched the suspect and pulled cash out of his pockets.

Hall was arrested on suspicion of robbery, a first-degree felony. Police suspect the robbery was Hall's second this week. He was also wanted on a federal warrant for escape and robbery. The robbery charge stems from the robbery Monday of a Corpus Christi bank. Nueces County court records also show Hall was convicted of a separate robbery in 2003. He is also listed as escaped, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons website.

Turner said the police department and Federal Bureau of Investigation are investigating the incident.

Turner said police also are investigating whether Hall has any connection to the June 7 First Victoria Bank robbery.

Texas Trust Bank on North Laurent will be open for business Thursday, according to a spokesperson.

Gutierrez said he was not nervous about the robbery and planned to remain open the rest of the day.

"Might be good for business," he said, smiling.

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