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Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014

Bank robbed

Thursday, August 10, 2006

(Photo)
HOLDUP: First Community Bank's surveillance camera captured the image of the bank robber as the crime was in progress.
Officers dispatched to bank within minutes of robbery; gunman is gone

A manhunt for a man who robbed First Community Bank in Hardy at gunpoint Aug. 8 has expanded into neighboring states.

The robbery occurred around 9:15 a.m. when a white male entered the bank from the main entrance on Main Street, Sharp County Sheriff Dale Weaver said.

Once inside, the man approached a teller window, made a threatening statement to a teller, displayed a semi-automatic pistol and demanded she put the unspecified amount of cash in a yellow plastic grocery bag he gave her, Weaver said.

"His shirt was untucked and he probably had the gun tucked in his belt when he walked in," Weaver said.

(Photo)
HOT ON THE TRAIL: Arkansas State Police investigator Mack Thompson (left) and Hardy Police Chief Ernie Rose confer soon after a robber fled First Community Bank on foot with an undisclosed amount.
After receiving his bag of cash, he then made another threatening statement to the teller as he left out the front door heading east on Main Street, he said.

The teller pushed the panic button and called Hardy Police Chief Ernie Rose on his cell phone while another employee called 9-1-1, Rose said. The call came in to Sharp County Dispatch at 9:18 a.m. One minute later officers were dispatched to the scene and swarmed the bank building and downtown area.

Surveillance tape captured the photograph of the robber. Those photographs have been sent to departments throughout the state and into neighboring states, Weaver said. There are people of interest, but no suspects have been named. Police are investigating each tip that comes in.

Hardy merchants were questioned and reported no peculiar behavior by anyone in the area, authorities said.

While police aren't certain of the vehicle the robber may be driving, there is a vehicle of interest, Rose said. A mid 1990s tan Buick or Oldsmobile was reported to have been parked behind a Hardy leather shop close to the bank Sunday and Monday; however, the car was not found parked in that location Monday night or Tuesday morning, Rose said.

Roadblocks were set up on Highway 62/412 in Fulton County near Ash Flat, in Mammoth Spring on Highway 63, in Lawrence County near Ravenden on 63 and on Highway 56 in Izard County, Weaver said.

"I'm confident this guy will be caught. It's just a matter of time," Weaver said.

Hardy police, the Sharp County Sheriff's Office, Arkansas State Police and the FBI are working together on the investigation.

The man, thought to be in his mid 30s, is described as having short dark hair and a mustache. He has "lots of tattoos" on both of his forearms and possibly another tattoo under his left eye that was covered by a Band-Aid, Weaver said.

He was wearing a black T-shirt with white lettering over the left chest area. There was also larger white writing across the back. He was wearing blue jeans and white tennis shoes.

Anyone with information is to contact the Hardy Police Department at 870-856-2136, Sharp County Sheriff's Office at 870-994-7356, Arkansas State Police at 870-935-7302 or the FBI at 870-932-0700.



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