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Bend Bank Robber Still on the Loose


Police still were searching Wednesday for the the man who robbed the Bank of the Cascades on Bend’s south side. Bank customers, employees and nearby businesses are trying to get back to normal, all while hoping it doesn’t happen again.

A man walked into the bank around 1 p.m. Monday and made a verbal threat to a teller, then fled despite a major police manhunt

hat same branch was robbed in December by a similar-looking suspect, but police aren’t ready to say the two robberies are connected.

“I walked out about five minutes before the guy came in,” said customer Mike Mitchell. “So before I even got back to my store, the police were already here.”

Nearby business owners said they still feel a little nervous.

“It’s a little bit unnerving,” said business owner Lori Maxwell. “Knowing that he ran right here behind my back building, you just never know, so it’s a little bit scary.”

Maxwell is the owner of Velvet Touch Grooming, right next door to the bank. She installed a new security system and extra lighting after the incident.

“Well, I hope that they’ll catch the guy for one, and that the crime will stop,” said Maxwell. “There’s been a lot here in Bend lately, and I just hope they can get a handle on it, and it will slow down.”

Bank officials said they train their employees to be very cooperative during any kind of security breach, like a robbery, but it can still be a traumatizing experience.

“There’s that element of feeling like they’ve violated our employees and our territory,” said bank Executive Vice President Julie Miller. “It’s not something you want to deal with. It’s an unfortunate situation that they have to go through.”

Bank customers coming back for business said they’re not scared to go back to what used to be a crime scene, but they are worried about the workers.

“You walk in the next day and you can just see the disbelief on everyone’s face,” customer Michael Coffman said. “I think that’s a very bad thing to have in this town. We don’t see it very often, thankfully, but in such quick sessions is very disconcerting.”

Late Wednesday afternoon, police scanner reports said an employee hit the silent hold-up alarm at the Bank of the Cascades in Sunriver. It turned out to be a false alarm.

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