Another bank heist possibly by same man
September 2, 2003
A man looking like a suspect who robbed two South Lake Tahoe banks earlier this summer left El Dorado Savings Bank with an undisclosed amount of cash in a robbery Tuesday afternoon.
Authorities combed the area and questioned business employees around the bank, located at 3443 Lake Tahoe Blvd., but could not find the man.
No weapon was seen and no one was injured during the 4:28 p.m. robbery.
Most of the people working around the busy shopping area seemed unaware the crime took place but shared their speculation on the suspect.
Employees at Sierra Gift and Clothing, the business next door to the bank, referred to a suspicious man who entered the business, walked around the entrance and immediately left.
Tonya Francis, who works at a chiropractor’s office a few doors down, spotted a man standing next to the pay phone near the bank. She walked by him twice while collecting mail.
“He was just standing there,” Francis said. “It was weird because usually if a man is with his wife at Sierra Gift (and Clothing) he goes in or goes outside to smoke a cigarette.”
Sherry Walker, who works with Francis, viewed the bank’s surveillance video to see if she recognized the robber. Walker found the man unfamiliar but watched the video and saw the teller back up when she was approached.
“She’s a very nice lady,” Walker said about her friend, the teller at the bank. “She looked very calm and cool on the tape.”
Many workers wondered if the rotating camera, owned by RSN that sits on top of the bank, was powered and could be used in catching the crook.
People walking into the bank were turned away by a closed sign and detectives.
“I couldn’t get any money,” one woman said.
“Nope, someone else took it,” replied Rick Brown, an investigator with Douglas County Sheriff’s Department.
This is the third El Dorado Savings Bank at South Lake Tahoe to be hit since June 25. On that day the bank on Al Tahoe Boulevard was robbed at 4:31 p.m. The man reached into his backpack, implying possession of a firearm, but no gun was seen.
On Aug. 4, El Dorado Savings Bank on Emerald Bay Road was robbed at 3:47 p.m.
Authorities believe the past two robberies are connected and were thinking the same man struck again Tuesday.
In all three robberies a note and dark backpack were used. No weapon has been seen but the man implied he had access to one.
Tuesday’s suspect was described as being a white male, 30 years old and 6-feet tall. He had a slender mustache possibly recently grown and sideburns to the lower ear level.
He wore a tan baseball cap, a beige plaid long-sleeve shirt over a white undershirt and beige khaki shorts over tennis shoes.
Anyone with information regarding the robbery is asked to contact Detective Mike Dente at (530) 542-6100. Those wishing to remain anonymous can call Secret Witness at (530) 541-6800.