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Citizens bank robbed

By Staff
NOTE LEFT AT SCENE – Detective Darrell Theall of the Meridian Police Department, left, bags a note left by a man who robbed the Medical Center Branch of Citizens National Bank as he speaks with Lt. Al Brown. The branch is at the corner of 23rd Avenue and 11th Street. PHOTO BY PAULA MERRITT / THE MERIDIAN STAR
By William F. West / community editor
October 17, 2002
Meridian police were looking this morning for a man who apparently used a phony explosive device to rob a downtown bank.
The robbery happened Wednesday about noon at the Medical Center Branch of Citizens National Bank. The branch is at the corner of 23rd Avenue and 11th Street.
Assistant Police Chief Keith McCary said the man entered carrying a bag that contained the device. Witnesses say he placed the bag on the counter and ordered bank employees to fill it.
McCary said the man headed east after the robbery in a Dodge Intrepid, 1997 or older, with no license plate.
David Barr, executive vice president of Citizens National Bank, said the branch was closed for the rest of the day to complete an investigative audit.
Barr said about four employees were in the bank at the time of the robbery, but none were harmed.
The affected employees were sent home for the rest of the day. Barr said it will be up to each of them to decide whether to return to work today.
Police Lt. Lee Currie said the employees seemed calm as they spoke with investigators.
Barr said he did not believe there were any customers in the bank at the time of the robbery.
Wednesday's bank robbery is the second of the year. Great Southern National Bank was robbed in late July. Meridian police arrested three suspects in that case after they threw money out the window of their getaway car.
Four banks were robbed in September and October of 2001.
Currie said the suspect in Wednesday's robbery is white, about 5 feet 6 inches tall, with a slender build. Estimates of his age range from the 40s to the 60s.
McCary was not specific about what was in the bag the man brought into the bank, other than to say it was obvious to the bomb technician the device was a fake.
Barr declined to say how much money had been taken.
The investigation is expected to involve FBI agents. Anyone with information is asked to call CrimeStoppers at 485-1860 or 917-8888.

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