Bank robber cut hole in roof, tied up employees

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by Catherine Holland

azfamily.com

Posted on September 6, 2011 at 10:28 AM

Updated Wednesday, Sep 7 at 2:59 PM

Map: First Fidelity Bank

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PHOENIX – Police are searching for a would-be bank robber who allegedly tied up as many as six employees Tuesday morning. Investigators believe he got into the building by cutting a hole in the roof. That suspect later fled the scene and is on the loose.

It happened at the First Fidelity Bank at 32nd Street and Lincoln Drive.

According to police, one employee arrived for work at about 7 a.m. and was immediately confronted by an armed man who was already inside the building. The suspect bound that employee with plastic zip ties.

As many as four to five other employees also were confronted and tied up when they entered the building to report for work.

At about 8:30 a.m., another employee was arriving for work when he spotted at least two of his colleagues tied up. He backed out of the building without attracting the suspect’s attention and immediately called 911.

By the time police arrived on the scene, the bound employees had managed to free themselves and were leaving the building.

SWAT officers were called in. They searched the bank, but the armed suspect was nowhere to be found. It's not clear when or how he got away.

At this point, police do not have any description of the suspect other than that he is a man with a medium build.

Detectives are talking to the employees who were tied up to try and learn more about the suspect and piece together exactly what happened.

It's not clear if he got away with any cash or if he robbed the employees he allegedly tied up.

Investigators also are looking at a hole that had been hacked in the roof to determine if that is how the man got into the building. Aerial video from the Fort McDowell Casino News Chopper showed that hole next to a chimney.

No injuries were reported.

Investigators often say the community is their best resource when it comes to solving cases like this. If you have any information about the suspect or what happened at First Fidelity Bank, you're asked to call the Phoenix Police Department at 602-262-6151.

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