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Robber hits downtown bank

Suspect told Bank of the West employee he was carrying a gun
News Editor
   FBI and Madras police officials are attempting to determine the identity of a male suspect who made off with an undisclosed amount of cash Friday after he walked into Bank of the West and told an employee he had a gun.
   Madras Police Department officers and Jefferson County Sheriff's Office deputies responded to a robbery alarm originating from the bank at 2:53 p.m. but were too late to apprehend the suspect, who fled the building at 225 5th St. by foot. K-9 officers tracked what they believed was the suspect's scent with their patrol dog, Angelo, but lost it on a nearby street.
   The suspect is described as a slender, 5-foot-9 white male in his 20s with dark, collar-length hair and a short beard. He was wearing glasses, a khaki baseball cap, worn blue jeans, a dark green hooded sweatshirt and dark tennis shoes with high, white soles similar to the line carried by Vans.
   Jerry Broker, the bank's manager of four years, described the incident as a "pretty fast deal" but stopped short of disclosing specific details, other than mentioning, "He said he had a gun."
   "This event doesn't occur everyday in downtown Madras," Broker said. "I was just very thankful that nobody got hurt."
   Investigators with the Oregon State Police Crime Lab are assisting Madras police and Bend-based FBI agents in their investigation. They are taking a hard look at whether Friday's incident is linked to other recent bank robberies in Central Oregon.