Washington state

Robbery 5th in month for Clark County area banks

The Columbian (Vancouver, Wash.)

VANCOUVER - A robber struck at a McLoughlin Heights bank branch Thursday morning and escaped with some cash, Vancouver police said.

It was the fifth bank robbery reported this month in Clark County and neighboring Woodland.

The man walked into the Bank of America at 5301 E. Mill Plain Blvd. shortly after 11 a.m. Thursday, with a dark scarf covering his face.

Giving the impression that he had a gun, he handed an employee a note demanding money, said Vancouver police Officer Brian Schaffer.

The robber fled on foot, and officers found no one who saw him get into a vehicle. Officers took positions around the area and called in a K-9 team, but the robber wasn't found.

The robber was described as white, 5 feet 10 inches tall and heavyset. He wore a red knit cap, dark sunglasses, a plaid shirt and blue jeans.

Police so far have not linked him to other recent bank robberies, Schaffer said.

Also on Thursday, Detective Sgt. Jim Eastman with the Clark County Sheriff's Office said he believes that a different robber - described by witnesses as a very tall and aggressive man - committed two bank robberies this month.

The two linked takeover-style holdups occurred at the KeyBank at 1217 N.E. 99th St. in Hazel Dell on Wednesday and the First Independent Bank in Woodland on Dec. 11, Eastman said.

In both cases, a man walked in and grabbed women - in Hazel Dell an employee and in Woodland a customer who was there with her infant son.

He ordered them and other employees to give him the bank's money, then forced them all into another room and escaped.