DENVER - Police are searching for a woman who they said robbed an Aurora bank at gunpoint Thursday afternoon.
The robbery occurred at 1:44 p.m. at the Academy Bank, located at 9600 E. Hampden Ave., according to the Aurora Police Department.
Officers said the woman walked into the bank, showed a revolver to the teller and demanded cash.
The suspect is described as a heavy-set black woman, who's about 5-feet-6-inches tall, has freckles or a mole on the left and right side of her face. She was wearing a green-and-black hoodie, a pink bandana and carrying a brown purse and a handgun.
Aurora Police spokesman Sgt. Chris Amsler said the description of the Academy Bank robber is "very similar" to a heavy-set woman who robbed a Colorado State Bank and Trust bank April 4 on Hampden Avenue in Aurora. In the earlier robbery, the woman also wore a pink scarf or bandana across her face, a black hooded jacket and a brandished a revolver.
Amsler said detectives will investigate whether the same woman was involved in both robberies.
This is the third bank robbery by a female suspect in metro Denver this month. On April 10, a woman robbed a Chase Bank at 5990 S. University Blvd. in Greenwood Village.
"It's not unusual for a woman to be involved with something like fraud or forgery. But to pick up a gun and go into a bank, very rare," Dr. Allison Cotton, a criminologist at Metropolitan State University of Denver, told 7NEWS reporter Marc Stewart.
"I think desperation levels are climbing," Cotton said, "and I think that there are more and more women who are exasperated by their circumstances -- often times at the end of their rope."
There have been 33 bank robberies in Colorado this year as of April 14 -- down 25 percent from the same time period last year, according to the FBI.
In 2013, Colorado ranked fourth in the nation for bank robberies per capita. That's an improvement over 2011, when Colorado ranked first in the national for bank robberies and 2012, when it ranked second.
Anyone with information about the incident is urged to call Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at 720-913-7867. The tip line is answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can also text 274637 and title your text DMCS, then enter your message.