Along for the ride:

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Wild West?

My bank was being (or had just been) robbed when I went by  the branch late yesterday, to deposit a check and get cash for the weekend.
I love my bank. I know the people who work there and they know me. They are always helpful, willing to make a photocopy for me or a phone call to say that "Someone" didn't sign the payroll checks before giving them out, and cashing the unsigned checks on our verbal approval so that our poor employees are not inconvenienced.
Over the years I have once or twice noticed funny grey dust on the bank counter and been told they had been robbed and that was finger printing powder. Yesterday, everything looked normal except the door wouldn't open. There was a sign in the window that said they would be closed Saturday due to a Street Faire and Monday because of July Fourth. I did a double take, wondering if my days were mixed up, then I looked for the bank hours to confirm. It was Friday, twenty before five, and they should have been open.
The familiar face of the manager appeared at the door and she pointed to a new sign "Closed due to an Emergency" printed in large letters, in red ink. I hadn't seen that one. She moved it lower on the door and we waved to one another.
As I turned away, I saw a police car waiting quietly across the street with the officer outside his vehicle. A young teller, who is working to put herself through college, was let out of the bank and walked hurriedly behind my car towards the police officer. Her face showed she was very upset. I rolled down my window to ask if she was O.K. and she acknowledged my question with a flutter of her hand by her side and kept going.
About then I was deciding that maybe the incident was still on-going. I had assumed they had been robbed but were in investigation and interview mode. If that were the case, I think the police cars would have been right in the parking lot by the door.
Obviously it was time to leave. As I pulled out I saw another black and white around the corner and more approaching from different directions. No lights, no sirens.
It took me twelve minutes to drive to the other branch I frequent in the town next door. I was watching the clock because I was afraid I wouldn't make it before closing time.
They know me too, which is just as well. I tend to leave my purse in my car so I need someone to vouch for me for cash back. I asked if they knew what was going on and they had not heard anything. Whilst I was there they received an email that the other branch would be closed for the rest of the day.
I was awake worrying about my bank-buddies during the night. I won't find out more until Tuesday, but I did call the second branch this morning to confirm everyone was alright.


  1. I have been in a bank when it was robbed. I was at a desk behind a partition signing some papers when I heard some guy yelling "I told you not to do that". I thought he was yelling at a child.
    When I got up to leave the doors were locked and the police were already there. They had to authorize my leaving. Scary to think about.
    I hope your bank buddies were all okay.

  2. omg is that the real world where one's bank gets robbed? I live in never never and it's way less scary. Glad the staff were all OK.

  3. That sounds really scary, I'm glad everyone was ok.

  4. Lori, ignorance is bliss? I'm glad you missed the action.

    Trudi & Di, City living? Some of the banks are just starting to have the double "airlock" doors. Those were prevalent in France when I lived there so long ago. There's no point in stealing if you can't leave the building, is there?

  5. It's pretty bad when this is more than a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence. Must be quite traumatic to come face to facce with someone who threatens violence. I hope they're all OK. (Just imagining a scenario where you are in the bank when some poor sod tries to rob it. I suspect he wouldn't get far...)

  6. And they say community spirit is dying out? I hope everyone is OK - but it's great that you connect with these guys to care so much.

  7. It's that fine line again. No name in the hat this time. Hope those in the thick of it were unscathed.

  8. I like that you care about the people who work in the bank and want to know they are safe. That says a lot about you and that makes me like you all the more. Hope you and your husband have a great fourth of July whatever you do today.

  9. Ohmigosh! I'm glad you weren't in the middle of that...well not exactly in the middle. Hope everything is OK with all your banking friends.

    We've had some bank robberies around here within the last year. I guess desperate times are having some impact. Still, crime is never the way to solve anything as it usually simply brings more trouble in the end.

  10. Sounds like this is a rather common occurrence where you are.
    Not so common here, the only robbery I've experienced was a break-in at the office, where the thieves failed to get into the safe.

  11. Deborah, I'm not dumb enough to intervene if there is an armed robbery (I hope). I might be a good witness at a subsequent trial though.

    Steve, strangers are just friends you haven't yet met. Life's too short not to connect.

    Martin, The teller who came out looking so upset already gets migraines etc. from stress and anxiety. She's barely in her twenties. She had called me personally that same day to tell me about a new policy regarding overdraft protection that we can opt in or out of. I think I need to get her a card.

    TechnoBabe, I guess I see the Human Race as a team sport. Happy Fourth to you too.

    Jean. This was happening even in the good times. I think perps know that bank employees are told to just hand over the cash and take no risks. It's only money, right?

    Friko, They are sitting ducks and yet the robbers invariably get caught down the line.

  12. Certainly never thought you were foolhardy. However, I can just imagine you tripping the guy as he leaves the bank, then planting your foot firmly on the back of his neck. Provided, of course, that he was armed with a toy pistol only.