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FBI searches for robber

No one hurt in noon incident

Posted: Wednesday, April 25, 2001

Officers are looking for the suspect in a bank robbery at Alaska Pacific Bank's downtown Juneau branch Tuesday. No one was hurt in the lunchtime incident.

Police are looking for a Native man in his early 20s, approximately 6 feet tall with a thin build. The suspect wore a gray T-shirt with the word "wolf" on the back, hiking boots and a knit cap, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Police said the man indicated he had a handgun but no one saw a weapon. The FBI and the Juneau Police Department are conducting a joint investigation, FBI special agent Eric Gonzalez said.

The bank at 301 N. Franklin St. reported the robbery at about 12:25 p.m. and the suspect left the building on foot, according to the FBI. Investigators consider the man armed and dangerous, Gonzalez said.

Police secured the bank and searched the area Tuesday afternoon, Capt. Tom Porter said.

Police and the FBI are not releasing information about how much money was taken. According to Alaska Pacific Bank, the man left "with a relatively small amount of currency."

 

Alaska Pacific closed the bank after the incident, directing customers to its Nugget Mall branch until reopening at 3:50 p.m., said Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Lisa Bell.

Staff members receive regular security training to prepare for such circumstances. All procedures were followed and security devices in the building were functional, Bell said.

"We're extremely pleased with the calm, professional reaction of our staff and customers and greatly relieved that no one was harmed," she said.

Three of the four employees in the building were working on the teller line when the robbery occurred, Bell said. Two customers were in the building when she arrived on scene minutes after the police sealed the building.

Gonzalez said the public's help is important in solving these sorts of cases. He asked anyone with information about the case or the suspect to contact the FBI or the Juneau Police Department.

"It really is a community effort in solving these sorts of crimes. We've had great success in Anchorage in capturing bank robbers with the help of the media and the general public," he said.

The suspect likely will face federal charges of bank robbery if caught, Gonzalez said.

This is the fourth bank robbery in Alaska this year. The other three were in Anchorage, Fairbanks and Ketchikan. Three bank robberies were reported in Alaska in 2000, according to the FBI.

In September 1996, a man claiming to have a gun robbed the Mendenhall Valley branch of Alaska Federal Savings Bank, the previous name of Alaska Pacific Bank. The robber was described as a white adult, age 20 to 25, with brown hair and a medium-to-stocky build. No one was injured and the amount taken was not revealed.

Alaska Pacific Bank has three branches in the Juneau area and nine offices in Southeast Alaska.

Joanna Markell can be reached at joannam@juneauempire.com.



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