Police release picture of suspected bank robber

Police release picture of suspected bank robber

DANVILLE — Danville police want to know: Have you seen this man?

Police released a picture of a man who is suspected of robbing First Midwest Bank's North Vermilion branch late Monday afternoon.

"It's an excellent picture," said Public Safety Director Larry Thomason, who hopes someone will recognize the man and alert authorities.

He said police have shared the picture, taken from a bank surveillance camera, with other law enforcement agencies.

"We're currently working closely with Coles County, which has had some recent incidents," Thomason said.

The Danville bank, at 2806 N. Vermilion St., was robbed around 11:30 a.m. Monday.

According to bank personnel, a white male entered the bank and approached a teller with a note. The teller gave the man an undisclosed amount of cash, then the man left the bank.

The man was described as having a thin build. He was wearing a grayish T-shirt and a white baseball cap.

Anyone with any information is asked to call police at 431-2250 or Vermilion County Crimestoppers at 446-TIPS.

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Skepticity wrote on August 26, 2014 at 11:08 am

Will ANY kind of a note given to a teller result in cash being handed over, or does the note to the “robber” somehow have to convey a credible threat? 

I don't think that employees should risk escalations to violence in performing their duties, but before the cash is handed over there ought to be some reason to believe that harm will result if the request is refused.  I would want to believe there was a genuine threat before I would hand over money to someone.

Often the threat is left unclear in the reports of robberies, perhaps because law enforcement does not release the contents of the note. When someone displays a weapon, that is a clear threat. But just a note? I would like to believe that there was a real threat before the “robber” got the money.

Is he really a robber if he doesn't threaten or harm anyone to get the money?

Did he present a credible threat?

cmbrown wrote on August 26, 2014 at 1:08 pm

I've been a bank teller for two years. In the event of a robbery, you are supposed to hand over the money, do whatever the robber says, try to take note of their description, and let them leave before contacting the authorities.

You do not ask them to show their weapon, or prove anything, or refuse to give them what they want. Doing so could escalate the situation and make it dangerous for the bank employees and the customers in the bank. Robbers just want in and out with no trouble. They are in a high-stress situation and there's no predicting how they may react. You do not want to make them panic.

Skepticity wrote on August 26, 2014 at 2:08 pm

So if someone hands you a note that says, "Fill this bag with money," you fill the bag with money? 

I understand that as an employee you do what the employer has instructed.  I guess I don't understand the bank's willingness to give money to anyone who asks, particularly if no threat is made. 

How is it robbery if no force is threatened, and no weapon is seen?  He is just asking for money, and you give it to him.

cmbrown wrote on August 26, 2014 at 9:08 pm

In the event of a robbery the safety of the bank employees and customers take priority over the security of the money. You may not see a weapon, but it's not the time to call a bluff. And if someone were to come to my window and asks me to empty my drawer, I would probably assume that they aren't going to want a withdrawel slip.

I don't think you realize what it's like. Robberies are very common these days. People are desperate for money. I don't go to work worrying to death about it every single day, but let me tell you that when someone comes through the door wearing sunglasses and a ball cap, I'm incredibly more alert. Even though usually the person just forgets to take their hat and sunglasses off, they feel threatening.

My point earlier was that even if they don't threaten you or show a weapon, that doesn't mean they won't get violent if things don't go according to plan. THAT is why you just give them the money and don't act a hero.