Gunman robs Rifle bank |

Gunman robs Rifle bank

John Gardner
Rifle Citizen Telegram
Aspen, CO Colorado
John Gardner/Rifle Citizen TelegramTwo Colorado State Patrol troopers keep people from entering the American National Bank in Rifle Friday after an armed gunman robbed the bank earlier in the morning.

RIFLE, Colo. – An armed gunman got away with an undisclosed amount of cash after robbing the American National Bank in Rifle Friday morning. It’s believed to be the first bank robbery in the history of Rifle.

Rifle police were still looking for the suspect involved in the robbery, which occurred about 10:27 a.m. Shortly after, police officers armed with assault rifles searched Rifle’s downtown and nearby neighborhoods for the suspect.

By late Friday afternoon, authorities scaled back the search for the suspect, saying they were focusing instead on the robbery investigation. The bank remained closed for the rest of the day.

According to the Rifle Police Department, the suspect entered the bank and displayed a semi-automatic handgun. Police say that the suspect fled on foot and was last seen running west, away from the bank.

Rifle Police Chief Daryl Meisner said officers focused their search in the west Rifle neighborhoods, including the Centennial Park area and neighborhoods west of the park.

Meisner said police received tips that a person matching the suspect’s description had been seen in the area shortly after the robbery occurred.

No suspects were in custody as of Friday evening.

The suspect is described as a white male, from 5 feet, 9 inches to 5 feet, 11 inches tall, with a thin build, possibly in his mid-20s. He was wearing blue jeans, a dark gray or black hoodie, a black ball cap with a white design or lettering on the front, and was carrying a black backpack.

A reverse 911 phone call was sent out about 12:30 p.m. notifying Rifle residents to be on the lookout for anyone matching the suspect’s description. The suspect should be considered armed and dangerous, Meisner warned.

Police warned residents that law enforcement officers may be visible in area neighborhoods. Police advise residents to be cautious and report any suspicious persons or activity to police. Police also advised residents to take precautions and keep their children inside.

According to Garfield School District Re-2 officials, students have already been released for summer break, so no students were in any danger at the nearby Rifle Middle School. Also, no one was injured in the robbery, Meisner said.

According to Meisner, this is the first bank robbery in the town’s history.

“This is the first completed bank robbery – to my knowledge – since we started keeping records in 1905,” Meisner said.

However, there have been other robberies in town, including a 2009 robbery of an auto parts store in south Rifle and a 2010 robbery at the Rifle Thrift Store.

Meisner didn’t divulge too many details of the investigation but said police did remove one of the glass doors from the bank to process for evidence.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has been notified and will assist Rifle Police with the investigation, according to Meisner.

Other local agencies including the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office, Silt Police Department and the Colorado State Patrol assisted with Friday’s investigation.

Anyone with information is asked to call Rifle Police Department at 665-6500 or 625-8095.

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