Robbery triggers school lockdown

RANCHO SANTA FE — At approximately 10 a.m. Oct. 26 a bank robber entered the Bank of America on Avenida De Acacias and handed a note to a teller demanding money. The teller, seeing that the robber was armed, handed over an undisclosed amount of cash. The robber then fled on foot.
According to FBI Special Agent Darrell Foxworth, the robber was described as a white male, 60 to 70 years old, wearing a gray tweed jacket, dark shirt and pants and a black hat. He’s been nicknamed “The Grey Bearded Bandit.”
Immediately after the robbery, police and authorities were notified and the search was on. A helicopter flew over downtown Rancho Santa Fe and the vicinity and authorities in the chopper alerted the public and described the suspect.
The R. Roger Rowe School is near the Bank of America and with renovation construction on for the renovation it was conceivable that a robber would choose the location as a hideout. The Sheriff’s Department worked with authorities at the school and it was quickly decided to lock the school down.
In a message sent to all parents, Superintendent Lindy Delaney stated that all students were directed to their classrooms, doors were locked and lights were turned off. After all students were accounted for, the Sheriff’s Department lifted the lockdown, which lasted for about 35 intense minutes. The students returned to normal activities. “Students and staff handled the situation well,” Delaney said. She told parents, “Please know that your children will probably want to share this information with you.”
FBI Agent Foxworth said that the robber may be the same individual who has robbed banks at three other locations in recent months. On Aug. 28, the USBank inside a Von’s store on Mission Gorge Road in Santee was robbed; a San Diego National Bank in La Jolla was robbed Sept. 2, and another USBank in Carmel Valley was robbed Oct. 9. There are similarities in description and method of robbery in all these crimes.
Anyone who has any information is asked to contact the FBI at (858) 565-1255 or report it at their Web site at www.crimestoppers.com.

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