Bank Robbed in Claremont
Maple Street Branch Hit; Police: Suspect Fled to Moody Park
New Hampshire State Police Trooper Brandon Dean talks into his police radio while looking around Moody Park for clues following a bank robbery at the Claremont Savings Bank on Maple Avenue in Claremont, N.H., on November 26, 2013. (Valley News - Elijah Nouvelage)
A Claremont Police officer dusts a door handle for fingerprints following a bank robbery at the Claremont Savings Bank on Maple Avenue in Claremont, N.H., on November 26, 2013. (Valley News - Elijah Nouvelage)
Claremont Police released this bank video snapshot of the man who robbed the Maple St. branch of the Claremont Savings Bank on Nov. 26, 2013. (Courtesy Claremont Police)
Claremont — Police are searching for a suspect who robbed the Maple Avenue branch of Claremont Savings Bank at gunpoint Tuesday around 10:45 a.m.
No one was injured .
Police said the suspect, a white male who fled the bank with an undisclosed amount of money, carried a black semi-automatic pistol. He was wearing a black winter ski mask. He had on black sneakers with red highlights, a beige-colored canvas coat with a pocket on the left chest, khaki cargo pants and a gold ring on his left ring finger.
After leaving the bank, the suspect fled to the parking area of nearby Moody Park where police believe he got into a vehicle and drove toward Claremont Junction.
A motorist reported a “vehicle passing on a double yellow line at high rate of speed in the school zone on Maple Avenue,” Claremont Police Chief Alex Scott said in a news release. The vehicle was described as a dull silver or dull grey smaller four-door SUV with no roof rack.
Earlier Tuesday at Moody Park, Scott said Maple Avenue Elementary School, less than a mile from the bank, briefly went into lockdown . Shortly after the robbery, police searched the parking lot of the park with a K-9 unit. Scott said there is no indication at this point that more than one person was involved.
Claremont Savings Bank President Sherwood Moody said there were four employees in the bank at the time.
“Everybody is OK and we closed the office for the day,” Moody said. “... We have counselors if they need them, to help them get over the shock.”
The branch will be open today.
Moody said the individual approached a teller and demanded money and he estimated the robber was inside the bank less than a minute.
The bank holds regular employee training to prepare for an incident like Tuesday’s, Moody said.
“They were very professional. They did everything they were supposed to do,” Moody said of the employees.
He also praised police for their response. New Hampshire State Police and the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Department also responded to the scene.
It was the third robbery in the area in the span of about six weeks. On Oct. 11, a person wearing a ski mask and carrying a weapon robbed One Credit Union on Charlestown Road, which is a few miles from the Claremont Savings Bank on Maple Avenue. He was described as a white male between 5-feet-8-inches and 6-feet tall. He fled on foot and was thought to have run up into a nearby neighborhood.
Then on Nov. 20, the Hanover Street branch of Lake Sunapee Bank in Lebanon was robbed. That person was also wearing a mask, carried a gun and is believed to have been about 6 feet tall. No one has been arrested in either incident.
Authorities are investigating whether there is a connection between the robberies.
“As with any similar crime, we are looking into the possibility and will be working closely with Claremont for comparison,” Lebanon Police Chief Gary Smith said in an email.
Chief Scott said Tuesday that at this point there is nothing to connect Tuesday’s robbery to the one at the credit union but he did not rule out the possibility .
He said they are comparing case files with Lebanon police but it is too early to speculate on whether Tuesday’s robbery is related to the one last week.
Patrick O’Grady can be reached at ogrady56@yahoo.