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Similar back-to-back bank robberies reported inside grocery stores

This image of the robbery suspect was taken from a surveillance camera at the Safeway in Rohnert Park.

Published: Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 3:59 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 7:33 p.m.

Police in Santa Rosa and Rohnert Park are comparing notes on back-to-back robberies at bank branches inside local Safeway stores that may have been hit by the same man responsible for a similar heist in Santa Rosa two weeks ago.

In each case, a Latino man with a goatee and a stocky build wearing a black baseball cap and a gray hooded sweatshirt entered a supermarket and gave a demand note to a bank teller inside, authorities said.

Thursday's capers included robberies at U.S. Bank branches in Safeway stores on Commerce Boulevard in Rohnert Park, which was struck at 10:27 a.m., and on Mendocino Avenue in Santa Rosa, which was robbed at 11:15 a.m.

In both cases, the culprit matched the general description of the robber in a Feb. 1 incident at a Chase Bank counter in a Raley's supermarket on Fulton Road, police said.

Surveillance photos from the three incidents each show a Latino man with a dark goatee, dark cap and hoodie. Rohnert Park police described him as 25 to 28 years old, 5 feet 4 to 5 feet 6 inches tall, 200 to 250 pounds, with bleached hair.

In each case, the robber presented a note demanding money to a teller but did not display a weapon. He escaped with undisclosed sums of cash, authorities said. In the most recent Santa Rosa case, there was an implied threat, however, police Sgt. David Linscomb said.

The robber left the bank through a door on the east side of the store, he said.

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