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Santa Monica Bank Robber at Large After Extensive Police Search

Bob Kronovetrealty
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By Jorge Casuso

September 10, 2019 -- A masked robber who held up a bank on Montana Avenue Tuesday morning remains at large after police locked down two schools and conducted an extensive search of the area.

The suspect was wearing a dark hoodie, gloves and a white “Day of the Dead” type mask when he entered the Wells Fargo Bank at 900 Montana Avenue shortly before 10 a.m., police said.

Montana Avenue bank robber
Montana Avenue bank robber (Courtesy Santa Monica Police Department)

The suspect -- who was carrying "a long barreled weapon"-- demanded money, said Lt. Candice Cobarrubias, the Police Department spokesperson.

After receiving between $3,000 and $5,000 in cash, the suspect left and was last seen jumping a wall behind the bank and in the 800 block of 9th Street, she said.

Santa Monica police "were on scene within minutes and set up a perimeter based on information provided by witnesses and residents in the area," Cobarrubias said.

The perimeter was bounded by Lincoln Boulevard, 11th Street, Montana Avenue and Washington Avenue, and police asked all residents and businesses to remain in place.

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Two area schools -- First United Methodist Church School and Roosevelt Elementary -- were included in the lockdown.

During the lockdown School District officials tweeted, "All students and staff are safe. Please don’t come to school right now. Instruction is continuing."

Police lifted the "shelter in place" order for the area at 3:30 p.m.

"After an extensive search of the area, the suspect was unable to be located," Cobarrubias said.

No one was injured in the incident, and police are working with the FBI to identify the suspect, she said.

Anyone with information should call Detective Haro of the Santa Monica Police Department at 310-458-8432 or the Watch Commander (24 hours) at 310-458-8427.

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