BACKUS -- A lone bank robber entered the First National Bank of Walker's Backus branch Friday afternoon and made a cash withdrawal.
The masked robber, believed to be a white male of medium build and slightly shorter than 6-feet tall, was still at large Saturday morning. The suspect entered the bank about 2:40 p.m. There were no customers in the bank at the time of the robbery, but there were six bank employees. No one was injured. The robber was dressed in street clothes and did not have a visible weapon, the Cass County Sheriff's Department reported.
Cass County Sheriff's Department Chief Deputy Tom Burch said the suspect spoke to a female teller and handed her a bag. He said the teller acted appropriately by complying with the robber's demands.
"The teller filled the bag, gave it back to him and the suspect left the bank," Burch said.
The exchange was brief. The man escaped with an undisclosed amount of cash from the teller's drawer. Burch said the man did not attempt to gain access to any vault or safe and quickly left the building with the bag of money. Employees set off the bank alarm. The Backus Police Department, the Pine River Police Department and the sheriff's department responded to the scene.
Light snow alternating with freezing rain made road conditions icy and treacherous Friday. Burch said officers were following up leads on the suspect's vehicle, which is described as a red or maroon colored van, possibly a Dodge Caravan.
The bank, along Highway 87 in Backus just off Highway 371 North, sits by itself along a wooded area. The bank has been at that location for 24 years. Friday was its first robbery.
The bank remained open to customers using the drive-through. Squad cars dominated the parking area more than an hour after the robbery. Officers from Crow Wing County Sheriff's Department and Walker Police Department, Minnesota State Patrol and the FBI are assisting in the investigation.
Anyone with information about the bank robbery is asked to call the Cass County Sheriff's Department at (800) 450-2677.
RENEE RICHARDSON can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5852.
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