Robbery repeated

Bank branch targeted twice in three months
Aug. 05, 2013 @ 06:01 PM

It appears that two men might have committed robbery twice — at the same local bank branch — in a matter of a few months.

The men, reportedly wearing masks and clothing that covered the rest of their bodies, escaped on foot with an undisclosed amount of cash after robbing the Wells Fargo bank on Horner Boulevard on Monday morning. Sanford Police Capt. David Smith said he strongly believes the perpetrators were the same two men who successfully robbed the same bank on May 20.

"It seems like it," he said, adding that it's uncommon, but not unheard of, for the same people to rob the same bank in a relatively short amount of time. As happened in the first robbery, he added, "One of them came in, fired two shots into the ceiling, and then they grabbed the money."

Wells Fargo does not release information regarding how much money is taken in robberies, but Smith confirmed that the suspects left with at least some cash. The last time, the men were seeing carrying large black bags, but Smith said Monday it's unclear how the robbers transported the stolen money this time.

In both cases, two men wearing masks entered the bank early on a Monday — this most recent one was called in at 9:24 a.m. — and fired a handgun into the ceiling, grabbed money and fled on foot toward the Prince Downtown Motel on Carthage Street and then, possibly, into the wooded residential neighborhoods nearby. No one was injured in either robbery, Smith said.

Also in both cases, the men's attire reportedly made it difficult for eye witnesses to give a good description — their skin color, hair color, age and other identifying features such as facial hair, tattoos or scars were all obscured.

Police spent much of Monday scouring the nearby areas for clues and interviewing people on foot and in homes, but Smith said at 4 p.m. that no arrests had been made and that authorities no solid leads. An attempted carjacking was reported after the bank holdup, but Smith said it's unclear whether that incident was related. The description of that suspect was similar to the loose description of one of the robbery suspects, he said, although he noted it happened about five miles away near Lowe's Home Improvement.

Anyone with information on the robbery — or any other crime — can call the police at (919) 775-8346.