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Robber takes $5,600 from Burton bank

By MELISSA SULLIVAN

Eagle Staff Writer

More than $5,000 was taken from a cash drawer at a Washington County bank Thursday morning during a robbery, police said.

No one was hurt in the holdup, which occurred about 9:30 a.m. when a man entered Burton State Bank, authorities said.

He jumped over the counter and took $5,600 in cash from a drawer before fleeing, said Carlene Starr Davis, a spokeswoman for the Washington County Sheriff’s Department.

“It happened so fast,” she said, adding the man was in and out of the building in less than 30 seconds. “People in there believe he was coming in with a weapon. What kind, we don’t know.”

Investigators later detained a man in Fayette County and were questioning him. No charges had been filed Thursday and his name was not released, although a sheriff’s department press release said the man is believed to be the suspect.

Authorities have not recovered any of the stolen money, Davis said.

E.J. Muehlbrad, president of the bank, said seven employees and two customers were in the bank at the time of the robbery.

Muehlbrad said he saw that the man had an object in his hand, but he was unable to determine what it was. The robber’s face was covered with what looked like a white handkerchief, the bank official said.

After the man fled the building, a local resident got into his car and started to follow him, Muehlbrad said.

The bank had been robbed once before, in the 1970s, he said.

Bank employees are trained to handle a robbery, and Muehlbrad said they did the right thing Thursday by triggering the silent alarm and not putting themselves in danger.

Robberies are uncommon in Burton, a small, tight-knit community, Davis said.

“Just having an armed robbery in Washington County is rare — especially at a bank,” she said.

• Melissa Sullivan’s e-mail address is melissa.sullivan@theeagle.com.

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