Brazen bank robber wields gun, makes off with cash in Grass Valley | SierraSun.com

Brazen bank robber wields gun, makes off with cash in Grass Valley

Liz Kellar
Sun News Service

GRASS VALLEY, Calif. and#8212; A nattily dressed man robbed Bank of the West in Grass Valley just after noon Tuesday, displaying a handgun and making off with cash.

A spokesman from Bank of the West declined to say how much money was stolen.

The robber entered the bank on Taylorville Road, walked up to a teller and demanded money, said Grass Valley police Capt. Rex Marks.

and#8220;She thought he was kidding,and#8221; Marks said.

The man then pulled aside his jacket to display a black-handled handgun in the waistband of his pants, Marks said.

The teller complied with his demand. No one was injured.

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and#8220;He was in and out of there pretty quick,and#8221; Marks said. and#8220;By the time anyone got around the teller station, he was gone.and#8221;

Witnesses did not see whether he used a vehicle to make his getaway or which direction he was traveling, police said.

The bank robber was described as a white man, between 35 and 45 years old, between 5-foot-7-inches and 6 feet tall, weighing about 175 pounds, with light brown hair and a reddish-brown goatee.

He was dressed in an outfit Marks said might have been a disguise and#8249; baggy brown trousers, tan shirt, tan waist-length jacket, green scarf and light tan fedora-style hat.

Although the robbery occurred at about 12:05 p.m., the police werenand#8217;t contacted by the alarm company until 12:12 p.m., Marks said.

and#8220;There was a little bit of a time lag,and#8221; Marks said, adding that patrol officers who were in the area could have responded very quickly.

and#8220;Weand#8217;re doing a canvas of the neighborhood, and we will be contacting the FBI,and#8221; he added.

The last bank robbery in Grass Valley was in January 2007. Jim Brian Smith, 26, of Orangevale, robbed Placer Community Credit Union in Grass Valley, and four other banks. He was sentenced to four years in state prison.

The Bank of the West site at the corner of Taylorville Road and Freeman Lane had been hit at least two other times, while under different ownership.

In January 1998, a man described as scruffy, dark-skinned, with a gap between his two front teeth and speaking with a slight impediment, robbed what was then SierraWest Bank of an undisclosed amount of money.

And in November 1992, a man walked into what was then Commerce Security Bank just before closing and fled with a sack full of money. The pony-tailed robber told a teller he had a gun and handed over a note demanding money.

The suspect left with the money in a sack from a nearby fast food restaurant and had apparently eaten there before robbing the bank.