February 15 – Santa Barbara
A Valentine’s Day bank robber, more brazen than most, walked into a Bank of the West branch just two blocks west of the Santa Barbara Police Department Headquarters on the morning of February 14th and made his escape with an undisclosed amount of cash.
According to SBPD Public Information Officer Sergeant Lorenzo Duarte, the suspect “knew what he was doing and was fairly casual about it” as he entered the bank shortly after the doors were opened. “He displayed a handgun and directed tellers to give him their cash,” Duarte said in his statements to the media.
The suspect is described as 6 feet tall, weighing more than 200 lbs., wearing a grey sweatshirt, dark short pants, and white tennis shoes. Witnesses inside the bank at the time indicated that he was wearing a ski mask and was carrying a shoulder-strap messenger bag into which he placed the purloined cash. “At this point, the ski mask precludes any age identification,” Duarte said.
Witnesses reportedly described the incident as “the real deal”, adding that the suspect acted like “he knew exactly what he was doing.”
When SBPD units responded to the scene uncharacteristically close to the police station, an immediate search of the area was conducted, including the nearby downtown area and adjacent parking structures. To date no suspect has been apprehended. “We’re just glad that nobody was hurt,” said Duarte.
Santa Barbara Police requests anyone with information related to this robbery to contact detectives at (805) 897-2335.
Photo: Courtesy Bank of the West; R.L. McCullough; SBPD
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