Turlock Police responded to a report of a robbery in progress at the Westamerica Bank, located at 241 W. Main Street in Turlock, at approximately 9:21am. A caller from inside the bank advised Turlock Police while officers were in route from dispatch. Also while in route, Turlock Police received a signal from the alarm company indicating a silent holdup alarm at the bank.
Immediately prior to the arrival of Turlock Police Officers, the caller advised dispatch that the suspect had fled the building.
Turlock Police Department Lieutenant Steven Williams said, “We were being advised by employees of the bank or witnesses that the suspect had fled the bank out the back, went around the backside of Cost Less Market, and was last seen southbound through the Cost Less parking lot from Olive Avenue.”
Several officers searched the area for the suspect while other officers responded directly to the bank.
As officers were approaching the bank on foot, the caller advised police dispatch that the suspect alleged that he had an explosive device and left the device in the bank after he fled. Officers entered the bank and confirmed that the suspect(s) fled. Officers located a suspicious package on the bank teller’s counter.
Bank employees and witnesses were moved to a nearby church building to conduct investigation interviews.
Police Officers directed an evacuation of the bank for the safety of the employees and customers. Other area businesses were advised of the alleged explosive device however, no other businesses or residents were evacuated.
The Stanislaus County Bomb Squad was dispatched to the scene and determined that the suspicious package did not contain an explosive device.
The suspect was described as a white or Hispanic male approximately 40-45 years old, 5’6 – 5’8 tall, and 160 -180 pounds. He was last seen wearing a grey baseball cap, light brown button-up overshirt or jacket, and light colored jeans. The suspect may have been wearing a disguise. An undisclosed amount of money was taken from the bank. No one was injured during the commission of the crime.
Turlock Police Detectives responded and assumed responsibility for the investigation. Detectives are actively following up on all leads. Anyone with information about this crime is encouraged to contact Detective Justin Williamson at (209) 664-7331.
The Turlock Police Department is an active participant in the Crime Stoppers Program. Callers can leave an anonymous tip by calling Crime Stoppers at (209) 521-4636 and may be eligible for a cash reward.