Here’s another reason to do all your banking online. Just now I went to the bank to deposit a few checks — at the PNC on Hwy 7 in Sterling — and came home with the chore undone.

As I approached the bank I glimpsed some flashing blue lights in the front, so I took a shortcut and went around back. There were electrical trucks back there, so I assumed the power was off and the cops were directing traffic. I parked my car at a little distance and walked across the parking lot toward the bank. That’s when I noticed a deputy with his gun drawn, an M-16. He barked at me: “Ma’am, get back.”

Turns out there was a robbery going on at the Wells Fargo, right next door to the PNC. As I watched, people in business wear came out one at a time, their hands over their heads. There were six or so Sheriff’s deputies in their brown uniforms with bulletproof vests. Another couple of guys in full SWAT uniforms.?A helicopter was hovering overhead.

I watched another Sheriff’s car pull up. A deputy got out, pulled his Kevlar over his head and grabbed a clipboard. I suppose there’s a lot of paperwork with this kind of thing.

A few minutes later, another guy dressed all in black pulled on black gloves as he walked toward the back entrance, very purposefully. Every few minutes one of the Sheriff’s deputies ran a loop around the parking lot with his gun drawn.

I talked to another woman in front of the Dunkin Donuts. She said: “How does somebody think they can rob a bank in this day and age?”

I said: “No kidding. You have to rob a bank from the inside, not this way.”

She sighed and said, “Well, all I know is, my husband really wanted a donut.”


6 responses to “Hold Up. Really.”

  1. When I read that the bank robber had possibly exited on a bicycle, I confess that my first reaction was disappointment at the lack of a glamorous getaway car! Then my conscience kicked in, reminding me that most people who rob banks won’t have the funds for a sleek, powerful vehicle. I hope the suspect was trying to feed a family rather than trying to placate a drug habit, loan shark, or other such unfortunate circumstances. Although a motive of misguided altruism does not justify armed robbery it might make the justice system more willing to guide the suspect towards better choices. Such thinking is probably very naive–because there’s no shortage of badly-behaved people in our world–but it’s nice to hope for a second chance.

    1. Forgot to add this: The other woman’s comment about her husband just wanting a donut was very funny. So was your observation that this is why we should switch completely to online banking. This excitement never happens when one is sitting at home in front of a keyboard and screen!

    2. Rachel, thanks for this fun comment about the getaway vehicle! When I read about the bicycle, I thought, “You Go Buddy!” Maybe it was a very smart choice, we’ll see if/when he gets caught. I’ll confess that after the 2008 mortgage crisis, my suspicion is that much more harm comes from within the bank than from stick-up guys. That said, I would hate to see someone get hurt, and guns are no laughing matter.

  2. Glad you’re ok! And everyone else, too.

    1. Yes, I should have at least mentioned my concern for all those involved! We will have to watch the news tonight to see what happened.

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