Georgiana bank robbed

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 16, 2003

The quiet morning at the Georgiana branch of Peoples Bank & Trust Co. was shattered when two masked assailants entered the bank shortly before 8 a.m. and demanded money.

Corporate Security Officer Tom Gay said two masked black males entered the bank between 7 and 8 a.m., held the staff at gunpoint and took an undisclosed amount of money.

During the robbery, branch manager Harry Poole received a minor injury when he was hit in the face and sustained a cut on the bridge of his nose that was later treated by paramedics.

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Gay said a member of the bank's staff activated the silent alarm system while the robbery was in progress, but the assailants escaped before the Georgiana Police Department arrived.

&uot;The staff is shook up,&uot; he said, &uot;but they are trained for this sort of thing. The number one objective of this bank is the safety of its employees and customers.&uot;

Butler County Sheriff's Office Investigator Steve Blankenship said they had recovered several thousand dollars of the stolen money outside the bank.

&uot;We have a witness that saw them run into the woods toward a two-tone pickup truck,&uot; he said. &uot;We've covered all the county roads and state highways and have a helicopter looking for them.&uot;

Authorities said witnesses described the truck as having a customized paint job of maroon on top that blends to yellow on the bottom.

Since bank robbery is a federal offense, the FBI is also investigating the case along with the Georgiana Police Department and the Butler County Sheriff's Department.

&uot;We have some evidence,&uot; said Georgiana Police Chief James Blackmon, &uot;including some muddy footprints they left behind. We need anyone in the community that has any information related to this crime to contact either the Butler County Sheriff's Office or the Georgiana Police Department.&uot;