Police search for bank robbery suspect

June 7, 2010 at 1:07 a.m.

Police are searching for the man who robbed the downtown First Victoria bank about 3:20 p.m. Monday.

Security cameras captured a black man in "metallic-looking" sunglasses and a blue baseball cap, entering through the bank's west door on Constitution Street near Bridge Street. While on a flip cell phone, the suspect slipped a female teller a note demanding money. The note also claimed the suspect was armed, though no weapon was ever displayed, according to Victoria Police Chief Bruce Ure.

The suspect, who Ure described was acting in a calm manner, then exited the bank through the Main Street entrance.

"He vanished after he left onto Main Street," added Ure.

The other patrons in the bank at the time of the robbery seemed to be calm, too, according to M. Russell Marshall, president and CEO of First Victoria bank. Bank employees are trained to deal with robbery situations without alarming customers or putting them in danger, said Marshall.

"We deal with the request and get them out. We'd rather lose a few dollars than have anyone hurt," Marshall said.

Ure said the suspect made off with what he would call a "significant amount of money."

After reviewing security tapes, Ure noted a few particular things about the suspect's appearance.

"The interesting thing about his clothing is it was very neat. Very pressed ... it's a uniform of some sort."

The suspect was wearing a lanyard with what could have been an ID tag. He also has white blotches on his left hand, which could be from an old burn or a birthmark, according to Ure.

Police were able to respond quickly to the robbery call, considering the bank is only two blocks from the police station.

Marshall said, "I tip my hat to Police Chief Ure and his folks. They were here very quickly and handled the situation very effectively."

But Ure sees the proximity of the bank and police station as indication of a more threatening suspect.

"We're hoping to get him quick because anyone who would walk into a bank right by the county courthouse in the middle of the afternoon is extremely brazen," he said.

This is the first robbery of the downtown First Victoria bank since Marshall began working there 16 years ago.

Since bank robberies are a federal offense, the Victoria Police Department is now working with the FBI on the case.

In regards to the distinct descriptions police have of the suspect, Ure said, "We believe somebody knows him. He committed a federal crime, and we need to catch him."

Police are encouraging anyone who has any information to call the police department at (361) 485-3700.



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