Bank robber still on lam

Published 7:50 pm Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Heavily disguised, a bank robber was able to get a Bank of Brewton teller alone Friday by asking to look at safety deposit boxes.

The suspect then threatened the teller’s life after pulling a black bag from under a bright blue poncho and demanding money. The suspect — it’s still not even clear if it was a man or woman — left the bank before anyone else knew what had happened, and police and FBI officials are still investigating.

A suspect wearing a hat, glasses and a bright blue poncho stole an undisclosed amount of money from Bank of Brewton Friday.

Police will not disclose how much cash was taken during the incident at the downtown Bank of Brewton main branch.

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Lt. Brock Holt said the suspect entered the bank from the back, off the boardwalk where the bank sits at the end of a long block of businesses.

“A suspect wearing a blue poncho, hat, gloves and sunglasses entered the bank from the back entrance between the bank and the Ritz,” Holt said. “Upon entering the bank, the suspect approached a teller and began to inquire about getting a safety deposit box. The teller then entered the bank vault with the suspect and began to show the suspect the different sizes of safety deposit boxes that were available.”
Holt said the teller said the suspect then pulled a black bag out from under the poncho.

“The teller was told to fill the bag with money or be killed,” Holt said. “She began to fill the bag with an undisclosed amount of money and then the suspect exited the building from the same door that they entered.”

It is unknown if a weapon involved or if the suspect just threatened the teller with the use of one, Holt said. “The suspect then left the building and fled the scene in an unknown direction,” Holt said. “It is unclear as to whether there were any other persons involved who may have aided in the escape.”

Boardwalk business owner Clay Lisenby of The L House said he had gone to the parking lot with a customer to help her with some frames shortly after the robbery.

“(Don) Ward came out the back door of the bank and asked if we had seen anyone running away,” Lisenby said. “I told him that I hadn’t seen anybody suspicious in the area.”

Tracking dogs were called from Century Corrections Facility and a search was made of the immediate area, Holt said. Due to the nature of the crime, the FBI was also called and officers were on the scene soon after the incident.

“The FBI has been very helpful,” Holt said. “They have resources that we don’t have. Currently the Brewton Police Department, along the the FBI, are investigating the robbery. We have had a few leads in the case that are currently being followed up.”

Anyone with information on the incident or anyone who may have been involved with the crime should contact the Brewton Police Department at 867-3212.