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MailTribune.com
  • Medford police hunt for Sterling Bank robber

    Authorities say man left in a small, brown car driven by a woman with red hair
  • A robber who indicated he was armed struck the Sterling Bank on Stewart Avenue Wednesday afternoon and fled the area before police arrived.
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  • A robber who indicated he was armed struck the Sterling Bank on Stewart Avenue Wednesday afternoon and fled the area before police arrived.
    There were no customers inside the bank when the robbery occurred just before 2:30 p.m., Medford police Lt. Mike Budreau said.
    The man approached a teller and suggested that he was armed, Budreau said.
    However, no weapon was seen during the robbery, Budreau said.
    The teller handed over an undisclosed amount of cash and the man fled. He was last seen heading east from the bank at 620 Stewart Ave.
    A witness in the area saw him jump into the passenger seat of a small, brown hatchback that was driven by a woman with red hair, Budreau said.
    The suspects evaded police and are on the loose, Budreau said.
    "We usually don't arrest them immediately after the act, but we do eventually get them," Budreau said. "We have a good clearance rate in bank robberies."
    The suspect is described as a white man, standing 5 feet 6 inches tall with a medium build. He had short, light-colored hair and was described as being "clean cut," Budreau said.
    He wore a black hat with "Black Bear Diner" inscribed on the front. His pants were olive green and he wore white tennis shoes.
    The Black Bear Diner hat does not suggest he is local, even though a local franchise is only about a mile from the bank, Budreau said.
    "We called and found that there are about 50 Black Bear Diners along the West Coast," Budreau said. "It's not an exclusive hat. There are a lot of them out there."
    Budreau said bank robbers often are caught after committing similar crimes in another city. "They don't usually stop at one," he said. "Eventually, they are caught."
    Charges can pile up against bank robbers because police keep witness statements, surveillance footage and other clues on file that are shared among departments.
    "When you arrest them for one robbery, you can bet they've committed others," Budreau said.
    The driver could find herself charged with felony robbery along with the stick-up man, Budreau said.
    "If you knowingly help someone rob a bank, and are the getaway driver or the lookout, then you'll be charged with the same crime," Budreau said.
    Anyone with information on the crime is asked to call Medford police detectives at 541-774-2230.
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