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Ashland Evidence officer David Day

Search on for robbery suspect

— — Surveillance camera catches a glimpse of the bank — robbery suspect.

Ashland police cordoned off a 12-block section of the Railroad District to search for the man who held up a downtown bank Thursday afternoon.

With his AR-15 rifle in hand, Ashland police officer Mike Vanderlip blocked eastbound access to B Street at Second Street. Other officers shut down traffic on A and C streets from Pioneer Street to Fifth Street. As the afternoon wore on, the perimeter closed in until the police dog search was called off.

&

We&

re still looking around, but we&

re winding up,&

Ashland Police Department Sgt. Teresa Selby told news crews around 4 p.m.

Just after 2 p.m., a man told a teller at the Rogue Federal Credit Union, 415 Lithia Way, he had a gun in his pocket and demanded cash, Selby said.

Bank employees gave him an undisclosed amount of money and the man, described as a Caucasian or Hispanic man in his last 40s or early 50s, fled on foot.

— — —

APD Sgt. Teresa Selby updates newscrews two hours — after a bank robbery at Rogue Federal Credit Union on Lithia Way Thursday.

Orville Hector |

&

The suspect was last seen heading down this alley and turning left,&

Selby said, gesturing toward A Street. &

He could live down there, he could be hiding out, he could have gotten into a vehicle.&

A Medford police dog tracked scents through backyards and down alleys for more than an hour while light rain and snow fell. The dog failed to locate a suspect or any leads, Selby said.

The man was about 5-foot-8 and 140 pounds with a thin build, according to police. Bank employees reported he was wearing a puffy blue jacket, dark blue pants, a blue stocking cap and a black ski mask pulled up over his mouth. He had a brown mustache with flecks of gray in it and wore knit gloves without fingertips.

&

Whoa, what a trip. Something happened in Ashland,&

said Steve Lanusse, who owns The Video Explorer on Oak Street.

Lanusse had biked up to the bank to make a deposit and walked into the bank lobby just after the robber had left. Bank employees escorted Lanusse out and shut down the bank for the afternoon.

&

It must have just happened,&

he said.

A bank employee called police while the robbery was in progress, before the credit union&

s alarm was triggered, according to Selby.

Bank employees did not see a the &

simulated weapon,&

according to Selby, but police could not confirmed if the man actually had a weapon. They warned people who wanted to return to homes and businesses within the police perimeter that an armed bank robber may be in the neighborhood.

&

It was an armed bank robbery,&

Vanderlip told motorists who slowed as they passed the lights flashing on his police cruiser in front of the Ashland Christian Church.

Thursday&

s robbery is the third bank heist in Ashland since August of last year. Medford resident Lucien Moon Patchell, 30, was charged with the Aug. 11 robbery of the US Bank on the 00 block of Pioneer Street. Six weeks later, 42-year-old James A. Esmedina, of Indiana was arrested for robbing the same bank.

Anyone with information about Thursday&

s robbery is asked to call the Ashland Police Department at 482-5211.

Staff writer can be reached at 482-3456 x 225 or jsquires@dailytidings.com.