2010-12-18 / News

Baltimore bank robbed; schools locked down

By Scott Rawdon

BALTIMORE- – The Baltimore Fairfield National Bank branch was robbed Tuesday morning around 9:03 a.m., said Baltimore Police Chief Michael Tussey. Baltimore and Millersport police along with Fairfield County Sheriff’s deputies searched the area in and around the bank, but were unable to locate the suspect. Tussey said the suspect entered the bank and handed a note to a teller, demanding cash. The teller complied and the suspect fled the bank. An undetermined amount of cash was taken. No weapon was observed during the incident and there were no injuries. Tussey said the FBI is assisting the Baltimore Police Department in the investigation.

The incident prompted a roughly 35 minute lockdown at the Liberty Union-Thurston School District. The bank is less than a mile away from the schools. “When law enforcement agencies call to recommend lockdown, we do it,” said Superintendent Paul Mathews. “We don’t secondguess the situation.” He said this was at least the third time the district was on lockdown after a local bank robbery. “The philosophy is simple,” said Mathews. “We want to do everything possible to avoid being involved in a threatening situation. We’re simply protecting staff and students.”

Mathews said there are times when the administration isn’t aware of what prompted local agencies to recommend a lockdown until the incident has passed. The Liberty Union-Thurston District is right in town, he said, and if any threatening situation exists in town, it’s definitely best for the students to remain secure inside their school buildings. “It’s not like we’re way out of town,” said Mathews. Assuming there’s no direct threat to the schools, he said it probably doesn’t hurt to have an unscheduled lockdown occasionally. During every drill, Mathews said, there’s always someone who knows it’s coming. These occasional incidents make sure the lockdown process runs smoothly. “It did give us an internal test,” he said.

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