Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Search continues for bank robbery suspect

By ABBY ECKEL, Herald Staff Writer | 3/19/2014

POMONA — A man thought to be armed had yet to be located midday Wednesday after robbing a bank earlier in the morning.

Goppert State Service Bank, 118 E. Franklin St., Pomona, was robbed Wednesday morning by an armed man, described as about 6-foot tall, wearing a black jacket, black pants, a ski mask and a ball cap, Rick Geist, Franklin County undersheriff, said Wednesday morning.

Franklin County Sheriff’s deputies and Kansas Highway Patrol blocked off Monroe Street to Second Street in Pomona, as well as Madison Street to Second Street, surrounding the bank, as the man was seen running east from behind the business, Geist said. The Kansas Highway Patrol also conducted an aerial search using a small plane.

“[The robber] came in and demanded money. He was given an undetermined amount and he exited the bank,” Geist said. “We’re processing the crime scene trying to knock down interviews and collect evidence.”

Mike Skidmore, vice present and branch manager at Goppert State Service Bank, said he typically works the first hour of the morning at the bank's branch in Ottawa, so he rushed to the Pomona bank after receiving news of the incident.

“Shortly after 9 a.m., I got a call from one of the ladies [at the Pomona branch] that they’d just been robbed so I came on out. Of course, I can’t get in because it’s considered a crime scene,” Skidmore said. 

The bank remained closed midday Wednesday while the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office continued to process the crime scene, but Skidmore said he’s optimistic law enforcement will catch whoever robbed the bank.

“I’m confident with law enforcement. These guys get caught about 80 to 90 percent of the time and I’m confident the same results will happen with this one too,” Skidmore said. “We have video tapes, but we usually rely more on the people inside the bank giving us a description. We’ve all been trained on how to identify people and give a good description to police when this happens. We hope it never does, but you’re prepared in case it does. [Law enforcement] has a good description and we’re confident the outcome will be positive and we’ll catch this guy.”

Anyone with any information is asked to call the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office (785) 242-1700 or Franklin County Crime Stoppers at (888) 311-TIPS.

More information will be released as it is available.

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