AURORA, Colo. - The FBI and Aurora police are asking for help to identify a man responsible for robbing two Bank of the West branches a total of four times.
The latest robbery occurred Wednesday at 4:30 p.m.
Police said the the suspect entered the Bank of the West branch located at 700 South Abilene Street in Aurora and demanded money from the teller. He then exited the bank and was last seen running to the east towards the Walmart store at 14000 East Exposition Avenue, authorities said.
The suspect was described as a white man in between the ages of 20 and 40 with a beard. He is 5-feet-6 to 5-feet-8 inches tall with a medium build.
Investigators said during each robbery he has worn a baseball cap and sunglasses and has not displayed a weapon. However they say that does not mean he has not been armed and should be considered dangerous.
With the same man robbing the same bank around the same time of day multiple times, we wanted to know if banking institutions are doing all they can to protect against robberies.
We asked former FBI agent Bob Pence if banks allow themselves to get robbed.
"No, I wouldn't characterize it that way. Banks do not want to get robbed," said Pence. "It's been my experience that they want to do the very least they can or have to, to intimidate those people from trying to walk in the bank. They like it friendly. We can walk up to a desk or to a counter that doesn't have bullet proof glass in front of it."
Pence investigated hundreds of bank robberies while an FBI agent-in-charge. His take is that banks don't want to scare customers away with too protective glass, intercoms and heavy law enforcement presence.
"That technique isn't widely accepted anywhere in the United States because it makes your bank less friendly to customers," said Pence.
Earlier this summer, 7NEWS reporter Marshall Zelinger saw a sign at a bank in Boston warning customers to remove their sunglasses, hats and hoodies for the safety of the employees and other customers.
"Yes, that's a deterrent. It's been a deterrent now since it started now some years ago back in New England," said Pence.
Even with a warning sign like that, it won't prevent someone from walking in with a hat and sunglasses and still attempt a bank robbery, but Pence said it would automatically give that person added scrutiny with one foot in the door.
7NEWS contacted the corporate offices for Bank of the West in San Francisco asking what is being done to prevent the same robbery from happening again.
"The safety and security of our customers and employees is paramount, and we are assessing our security measures in Aurora and the surrounding area. We are also fully supporting law enforcement. For security purposes, we’re unable to provide additional information at this time," wrote Debra Jack, Vice President of Corporate Communications.
The Aurora Police Department Reward Fund and the Bank of the West are offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest of the suspect. That is in addition to the original reward of up to $2,000 being offered by Metro Denver Crime Stoppers.
Anyone with information on this case is asked to call Agent Mike Thrapp with the Rocky Mountain Safe Streets Task Force at 303- 313-6810 or Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at 720- 913-STOP (7867).