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Suspect sought in Shady Cove bank robbery

and bill miller

SHADY COVE — The search continues for a man who robbed the PremierWest Bank branch in downtown Shady Cove late Tuesday morning.

The suspect entered the bank at 22175 Highway 62 just before noon and handed a teller a note demanding money, Shady Cove police said.

"No gun was displayed during the robbery," Shady Cove police Sgt. Julie Denney said.

After taking an undisclosed amount of cash, the man left the area on foot and was last seen heading north along Highway 62.

Police officers from Shady Cove and Eagle Point, along with Jackson County sheriff's deputies and FBI agents canvassed the area looking for witnesses, Denney said.

Chris Naranjo was on his way into the bank when he was stopped by yellow crime scene tape.

"This is my bank," he said. "I can't believe this happened."

Naranjo said he had gone through the bank's drive-up earlier in the morning and returned at lunchtime to complete a new transaction.

"The people who work in there are really something special," he said. "I always talk to the ladies and wish them a good day and they always give me a piece of candy."

The Shady Cove School was locked down for a short time while officers searched the area.

School officials did not return phone calls seeking comment.

While the bank was closed customers were able to complete transactions at the drive-up.

The suspect is described as a white man in his mid-20s, approximately 5 feet 7 inches tall, with a slender build. He was wearing a red baseball cap, a dark blue jacket with a yellow stripe and red logo on the front, a brown shirt, blue jeans and athletic shoes.

"In the three and a half years I've worked here this is the first bank robbery I can remember," Denney said.

Anyone with information is asked to call Denney at 878-3200 or through dispatch at 776-7206. Or contact the FBI Medford field office at (503) 224-4181.

Reach reporter Chris Conrad at 776-4471, or e-mail cconrad@mailtribune.com.

Photo of robbery suspect taken by a bank surveillance camera.