The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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July 12, 2013

Cops wonder: Which way did robber go?

JOHNSTOWN — Richland Township police are trying to determine if the man who robbed a First National Bank branch on Thursday got away on foot or in a vehicle.

“We have some information about a vehicle, but we’re still trying to solidify that,” Richland police Chief Michael Burgan said. “We’re tracking down several leads.”

A man dressed as a woman robbed the bank’s East Hills Branch, located at 1458 Scalp Ave., around 12:30 p.m.

The man, wearing a straight red wig, black dress and black shoes, and carrying a handbag, passed a note to a teller demanding money and then fled with an undisclosed amount of money.

The bank is located near the Route 219 entrance ramp that has aided crooks making a quick getaway in the past.

“The highway system can play a factor,” Burgan said. “We’re not sure if it did in this case.”

Police have posted a surveillance photograph of the robber on the Internet.

Between the police department’s Facebook page and Twitter accounts, the photo has received more than 8,000 hits in 24 hours, Burgan said.

“Social media has played a part,” he said.

A security guard hired by the bank greeted customers Friday when the bank opened. A spokeswoman in the bank’s main office in Hermitage was unavailable Friday.

The FBI and police from Geistown Borough and Stonycreek and Paint townships are helping in the investigation, the chief said.

The robber is described as a white male between 6 feet and 6 feet 3 inches tall.

Anyone with information on the crime is asked to contact police at 1-800-281-1680.

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