South Shore bank robbed |

South Shore bank robbed

William Ferchland

Julie Sullivan / Tahoe Daily Tribune / Police are investigating a bank robbery at El Dorado Savings Bank on Friday.

South Lake Tahoe police continued to search over the weekend for a man who robbed the El Dorado Savings Bank on Al Tahoe Boulevard late Friday afternoon.

The bank was robbed at about 5:32 p.m., by a man witnesses described as possibly Hispanic, heavyset, 35 to 40 years old with a thick moustache, a five-o’clock shadow, wearing a white baseball cap with an unknown logo on the front, dark sunglasses and a blue/gray sweatshirt with a white collar and white elbow pads, blue jeans and white tennis shoes.

Police scoured the area near Al Tahoe Boulevard looking for the robber on Friday evening. A bank employee told police the man did not show a gun but demanded cash and told the employee that he would shoot them if they did anything.

The man got away carrying a paper sack full of cash and was last seen by witnesses near the post office.

Anyone with information should contact Detective Mark Tappen at (530) 542-6134 or call Secret Witness at (530) 541-6800.

Meanwhile, Friday marked the first bank robbery in South Lake Tahoe this year. The last robbery was on Dec. 2 at the U.S. Bank a block away from El Dorado Savings Bank.

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In 2003, four bank robberies at three El Dorado Savings branches occurred between June 25 to Sept. 17. Police arrested a man, Russell Garrett Waggoner, at a Sparks casino. He was later convicted of the robberies.

For some customers on Friday, the bank robbery has become all too familiar.

When he pulled up to the bank to use the ATM, 23-year-old Markus Diggs saw the “Closed Robbery” sign posted on the front door, and said, “Robbery? Again?”

Diggs thought banks should take more precautions against robberies, such as having a security guard or better cameras.

“It’s like they don’t learn from their mistakes,” he said.

Across the street at the Lake Tahoe Unified School District bus garage, South Tahoe High School students were preparing floats for homecoming.

Sophomore Anthony DeMarta thought the robbery occurred when he was eating a slice of pepperoni at New York Pizza, which is next to the bank. When he went to the pizza parlor, no police cars were parked outside, he explained. When he came back out the cars were there.

DeMarta said he was eating his pizza with his back to the glass that looks out on the sidewalk.

“(Afterward) I just walked back to my homecoming float and didn’t really think anything of it,” he said.

DeMarta’s friend, Brandon Rice, said he thought the “day and age has passed” on bank robberies.