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Las Vegas Police Investigate a String of Bank Robberies | Crime

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Las Vegas Police Investigate a String of Bank Robberies
Crime

LAS VEGAS - Bank robberies are becoming a growing problem for the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. Bank thefts in Las Vegas have doubled since last year. Metro is investigating three incidents that occurred this week alone.

One happened at a U.S. Bank branch near Charleston and Las Vegas Boulevard on Wednesday. Police say the suspect handed the teller a note demanding money. If he didn't get it, he threatened to set off a bomb.

"(The teller) read the note and asked for clarification from the suspect," Metro Police Lt. Clint Nichols said. "He got spooked and took off."

The suspect is described as a white male with brown hair, 25 to 35-years-old, 5 feet 9 inches tall and 150 lbs. He was last seen wearing a black t-shirt and blue jeans.

He didn't get any money, and he didn't detonate a bomb. He did, however, spark an emergency that closed the bank. Customers were turned away all day. Customer Tom Sandusky was one of them. "There are some other branches I can go to at the grocery store, so I can make (my deposits) there," he said.

One branch he could not use was a U.S. Bank inside an Albertson's near Charleston and Sloan. That is because that bank was the scene of a separate heist on Wednesday. Police say the suspect presented the teller with a note demanding money.

The teller complied and the suspect fled the scene. He did not have a weapon, but did get away with hundreds of dollars. "As of right now, I believe the count is about $1,600 to $1,800," Lt. Nichols said.

The robbery occurred at 11:00 a.m. inside a crowded store where cameras are always rolling.

"The bank is right there, and the security guards are right there by the door," customer John Belizaire said. "There's no use in trying. So, I don't know how he got away."

The suspect is described as a black male, 20-25 years old, 5'3", and 135 lbs. He was wearing a long, curly wig and a red and black "LA" cap. He was carrying a black backpack.

A third bank robbery took place Tuesday afternoon at a bank near Tropicana and Eastern. Police say the suspect presented a large envelope to the teller and demanded money. The teller complied. The suspect filled the envelope with the money and left.

He is described as a Hispanic male in his 30's. He was last seen wearing a red New York Yankees cap, dark jacket, dark pants and sunglasses. He fled the scene in a white, Ford F-150 with Texas plates.

Police say many bank robbers come to the valley from nearby states. They head home after committing their crimes, hoping they will never be noticed or caught. "Typically, what we'll see is they rove, and they hit different jurisdictions up," Lt. Nichols said.

Metro Police are investigating 10 bank hold-ups and robberies so far this year. Last year by this time, they had five robberies. Detectives aren't sure why the numbers have doubled.

People with information on these and other robberies are urged to call the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department at 828-3591 or Crime Stoppers at 385-5555.

Crime