Albany bank robber could strike again - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Albany bank robber could strike again

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April 15, 2003

Albany - Just before yesterday morning, a man wearing a bullet proof vest and clothed head to toe, walked into a busy Bank of America branch.

He fired two shots from an AK-47 and ordered everyone to get on the floor.

"Around here that's very unusual," Keithen Hall, an investigator with the Albany Police Department.

This robber was prepared for a gun battle, even more prepared than the police.

"Our bullets probably wouldn't have penetrated his vest, but his bullets probably would have penetrated our vests."

Seconds after the robber calmly walked into the bank, he jumped over the counter. On the surveillance tape, you see his rifle on the counter as he fills a bag with cash. The tape shows workers lying on the floor. About 45 seconds after he came in, the robber pops up behind the counter. In barely a minute, he's gone and nervous workers begin to stand up.

The robber is a black man in his 30s, about 5-feet ten-inches tall and stocky and about 230 to 250 pounds. Investigators are still searching for clues in a getaway car they found, but the robber ditched it and took off in another car.

"We're very concerned when someone comes in with an assault rifle," Hall said.

The robber was so calm and so prepared, it's likely he's done this before. Investigators hope this tape will help prevent another robbery.

"Somebody out there who sees it might be able to recognize the individual," Hall said.

The bank was back in business today. All employees back at work. One of them who's worked here for 37 years says it's the first time it's been robbed. But because the employees have been trained to stay calm, no one was hurt. Everyone survived one of the most frightening minutes of their lives.

posted at 5:06 p.m. by brannon.stewart@walb.com