Downtown Bank of America robbed

By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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The Downtown Auburn Bank of America was robbed Monday, with the male perpetrator escaping through the High Street branch’s back door. The robbery took place at 2:20 p.m. and details were still scanty late Monday as police worked to find the robber. The bank was closed after the robbery and customers were directed to the closest nearby branch at Highway 49 and Bell Road. The instant teller machine remained was available to customers while bank personnel and police investigators remained inside. Sgt. Dave Lawicka said bank employees described the robber as a black, adult male and that he fled out the rear door into the parking lot. Customers were understanding of the closure, once they heard why the branch was locked to outsiders. Newcastle’s John Rubio said it appears the economic downturn has created desperate times for some. “It’s crazy,” Rubio said. “People are used to having easy money. But because they don’t have it, they’re finding ways to supplement it. If you have it, they’ll try to get it.” The Bank of America’s High Street branch was most recently robbed Dec. 23, 2008. The bank robbery is the second in a week, with both taking place at Bank of America branches. Bank of America’s Roseville Square branch was robbed last Tuesday. At times Monday, bank customers had to brave a sudden downpour of rain and even hail to reach the doors, only to find out the branch was shut down for the investigation. Inside, Auburn Police dusted for fingerprints on the back door while interviewing bank employees. Auburn’s Dave Geschke, like several other customers who were turned away, said he half-joked to himself that there must have been a robbery when he approached the bank and saw two police cars parked in the rear lot. “I was just kidding,” Geschke said, noting it was fortunate he hadn’t been at the bank with the $10,000 in proceeds he had deposited a week earlier from the Native Sons of the Golden West crab feed. Mike Rodriguez said he visits the banks three times a week with deposits from his employer and was a little inconvenienced by the closure. “But as long as people weren’t hurt, I can live with the inconvenience,” he said.