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Police Searching for Bank Robber in White River Junction

  • A surveillance photograph shows an alleged bank robber at the Mascoma Bank branch in White River Junction, Vt., on Jan. 7, 2019. (Mascoma Bank photograph)

  • Vermont State Police block the entrance to the Mascoma Bank after an armed robbery at the branch on Maple Street in White River Junction, Vt., on Jan. 7, 2019. (Valley News - Joseph Ressler) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Sgt. Eric Hudson of the Vermont State Police stands in front of the Mascoma Bank after an armed robbery at the branch on Maple Street in White River Junction, Vt., on Jan. 7, 2019. (Valley News - Joseph Ressler) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Vermont State Police officers inform a customer that he cannot enter the Mascoma Bank after an armed robbery at the branch on Maple Street in White River Junction, Vt., on Jan. 7, 2019. (Valley News - Joseph Ressler) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Vermont State Police officers lead a K-9 sniffing the area after an armed robbery at the Mascoma Bank branch on Maple Street in White River Junction, Vt., on Jan. 7, 2019. (Valley News - Joseph Ressler) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.


Monday, January 07, 2019

White River Junction — Police from several towns searched Monday afternoon for a man who robbed the Mascoma Bank on Maple Street, prompting a “temporary lockout” at nearby schools.

A “lone male subject left with an undetermined amount of cash” in the robbery which took place at approximately 2:15 p.m., bank officials said in a news release on Monday.

Police said the man passed a teller a note demanding the cash and indicating that he had a weapon. After the teller complied, the man fled the bank on foot toward Hazen Street.

Hartford authorities and bank officials released a photo of the robbery suspect: a dark-haired man with a mustache, who is about 5 feet 8 inches tall, and was wearing an orange scarf and a dark-colored hooded sweatshirt.

Hartford Sgt. Jay Pedro, in an interview at the scene, said the incident was being treated as an armed robbery.

On his way to the bank from Hartford High School to respond to the call, Pedro said he yelled to students playing on the playground at the White River School that they should go inside.

Though there was not an immediate threat to nearby schools, White River School and Hartford Middle School and Hartford High School locked their doors to prevent anyone from entering or leaving the buildings, as a precaution while police searched for the suspect, according to an alert to parents from school officials sent around 2:30 p.m.

By 2:47 p.m., police told school authorities “it was safe to release bus riders and students being picked up by parents,” Hartford School Superintendent Tom DeBalsi said in an email.

But, police said “walkers in the neighborhood adjacent to the middle school should be held at the school,” DeBalsi said.

Walkers either waited for a parent to pick them up or went home on an extra bus the district operated to carry them home, he said.

Vermont State Police and officers from Lebanon, Norwich and Thetford were assisting Hartford police in the search.

At about 3:30 p.m., Vermont State Police Sgt. Eric Hudson’s car was parked at the bank’s entrance to prevent vehicles from entering.

“A bunch of police officers are combing the neighborhoods right now,” he said.

A busload of Hartford students drove by, with some students holding up their cellphones to take pictures of the police cars, which included a K-9 unit, at the bank.

This is not the first time this Mascoma Bank branch has been robbed, Hartford Police Maj. Braedon Vail said at the scene. Another robbery took place at the same location in 2012.

The investigation into Monday’s robbery is ongoing, Hartford police said in an 8:30 p.m. news release. They are following up on information provided by witnesses and ask that anyone with knowledge of the incident call them at 802-295-9425.

Valley News Staff Writer Nora Doyle-Burr can be reached at ndoyleburr@vnews.com or 603-727-3213.



Tuesday update: Police have arrested a 28-year-old Windsor man in connection with a robbery at the Mascoma Bank branch off Maple Street in White River Junction on Monday.