A man wearing a mask robbed the U.S. Bank branch in O’Fallon on Thursday afternoon and made off with an undisclosed amount of cash.
The robbery was reported about 1:15 p.m. Thursday. Police with dogs quickly descended on the area of the bank, at 400 S. Lincoln Ave.
O’Fallon Police Capt. Jim Cavins said a suspect displayed a handgun and demanded cash. A bank employee complied, and the suspect made off with an undisclosed amount of cash.
“We believe that he fled in a blue SUV,” Cavins said.
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“The bank clerks were scared to death,” he added.
The suspect, who was at large as of Thursday afternoon, was described by police as a black male, 30 to 40 years old, 6 feet tall, approximately 250 pounds, wearing a dark jacket, ball cap and blue jeans. He appeared to be wearing surgical or dust mask.
A suspect and vehicle matching those descriptions were reported in a bank robbery in October 2016 in Lebanon.
The suspect in the Lebanon robbery was described as either 6-foot-1 or 6-foot-2, approximately 220 pounds. He wore a mask that appeared to be the type painters use to prevent inhalation of dust or fumes. The Lebanon robbery also happened about 1 p.m. on a Thursday — Oct. 13, 2016.
A portion of Lincoln Avenue around the O’Fallon bank was blocked while police canvassed the area Thursday.
A witness at the scene said he saw a heavyset man wearing a black hoodie and a mask holding a bag run across Lincoln and down West Fourth Street before getting into a vehicle.
“I thought that looked suspicious,” said Glenn Mackey, an O’Fallon resident who happened to be driving by the bank at the time. “He jumped into a vehicle sitting at the corner and then sped across the street.”
Illinois State Police issued a bulletin saying that the suspect may have been driving blue Dodge Durango or a similar-looking vehicle. The bulletin said the suspect was armed with a silver handgun and had his face covered with a mask.
Police said no one was injured.
O’Fallon Township High School was put on lockdown at about the same time. The lockdown was lifted after about 30 minutes.
Anyone with information about the robbery can call the O’Fallon Police Department at 618-624-4545, extension 0.
The U.S. Bank branch in O’Fallon has been robbed in the past. In March 2015, a 36-year-old man passed a note to a teller, implied he had a weapon and walked out. In 2011, a man robbed the same bank and ran off. In both cases, suspects were arrested shortly after the robberies.
O’Fallon Progress reporter Robyn Kirsch contributed to this report.