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Man robs Chester bank

Police released these images of a robber in action Friday morning at he First Citizens Bank of J.A. Cochran Bypass.
Police released these images of a robber in action Friday morning at he First Citizens Bank of J.A. Cochran Bypass.

CHESTER -- The first Chester County bank robbery in nearly 10 years might have happened Thursday, but the bank had already closed.

So on Friday morning, a man wearing black clothes and a red ski mask robbed the First Citizens Bank on the J.A. Cochran Bypass, Sheriff Robby Benson said.

An undisclosed amount of money was taken and, although armed with a butcher's knife, the robber didn't hurt anyone.

A woman who came to the scene after the robbery told authorities that she thought she saw a man trying to rob the bank the afternoon before, Benson said.

The lady told investigators the man came to the bank, pulled on the door and walked away when he realized it was closed.

When asked what he was wearing, the woman gave a description that matched that of the man authorities were looking for Friday.

The masked man entered the bank five minutes after 10 a.m., Benson said.

The robber came in the back door, told employees that he "wasn't kidding," climbed over the counter and took the money from an undisclosed location in the bank, Benson said.

He left the same way he came in.

Minutes after the robbery, authorities had secured the area around the bank, including blocking the entrance to neighboring McDonald's. They cleared the scene just after 4 p.m.

The State Law Enforcement Division sent a helicopter, bloodhounds and investigators to assist. The FBI also is investigating the case.

Authorities don't have much of a description to offer, except that the man was about 6 feet tall, white, clean-shaven and in his early- to mid-20s.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the Sheriff's Office at (803) 581-5131 or SLED at (803) 737-9000.

The last Chester County bank robbery happened on Aug. 25, 1997, when two men wearing homemade masks robbed a downtown Savings & Loan in Great Falls, making off with more than $13,000 in cash.

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