Sterling bank branch hit by robbery once again

The Sterling Savings Bank branch on West Stewart Avenue has been robbed for the third time in five months.

Medford officers on Friday searched the area of West Stewart Avenue and Kings Highway in hopes of finding the suspect. The suspect entered the bank at around closing time. The robbery was reported at approximately 6 p.m.

Police said a man robbed the branch and then fled the area. It is unclear if a weapon was displayed during the robbery.

The man, who was wearing a black mask, demanded cash, but did not display weapon, according to Medford police Sgt. DJ Graham.

He then fled the front doors and vanished. The two clerks on duty did not see his last direction of travel, Graham said.

The suspect is described as being 5 feet, 9 inches tall and weighting 190 pounds. He had an olive complexion.

He was wearing a dark blue hoodie that was turned inside out. He also wore dark blue jeans and gloves, Graham said.

The case was turned over to detectives who will pursue whatever leads turn up in the coming days, Graham said.

It is unknown why this particular bank branch is suddenly popular with robbers, Graham said.

"We've had two recently and made an arrest on one," he said.

Despite no weapon being displayed, a bank robbery can be a tough situation for bank employees, Graham said.

"It's an emotional experience even if there is no weapon shown," he said.

This branch was the site of two previous robberies in 2012. The first occurred in September when a man entered the bank and demanded money. No weapon was seen.

The suspect, later identified as Brett Leon Court, 37, was arrested two days later, along with his accomplice Melissa Jane Fernandez, 36.

They were charged with second-degree robbery, a felony.

The second robbery happened in December just before closing time. The suspect entered the bank and handed a teller a note demanding money. Again, no gun was seen.

The man left with an undisclosed amount of cash and was last seen heading north through an alley east of the bank.

The suspect in that case remains at large.

Reach reporter Chris Conrad at 541-776-4471 or email cconrad@mailtribune.com.


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