Paige Dickerson
Peninsula Daily News
September 1, 2009

Editor’s note: It is said the primary responsibilities of the Department of Homeland Security is protecting the territory of the U.S. from terrorist attacks and responding to natural disasters. Does the Department now consider bank robbery a terrorist act or a natural disaster? The bank robber, described as a five foot five older man with gray hair, must have really frightened the police because they brought out the automatic weapons. Click here to see a photo of militarized cops frightening the citizens.

PORT ANGELES — A bank robber brandishing a black handgun remains at large today after his Monday holdup disrupted an entire east Port Angeles neighborhood Monday afternoon.

[efoods]A small brigade of law officers on land and in the air couldn’t find him — even as the region’s main hospital was locked down for an hour.

Several blocks of the neighborhood around Olympic Medical Center were closed to traffic for hours Monday afternoon as law officers — many carrying large automatic weapons — searched alleys, yards and streets for the bandit, who entered Sterling Savings Bank, 1033 E. First St., around 12:20 p.m. and forced a teller to empty her cash drawer at gunpoint.

The hospital and many of its affiliates in separate buildings in a five-block area were locked down after witnesses said they saw the robber head north from the bank on foot.

Two helicopters

Two helicopters — one from Coast Guard Group/Air Station Port Angeles and the other from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, both agencies of the Department of Homeland Security — hovered low over the neighborhood, calling attention to the scene from a wider area of Port Angeles.

Traffic on Front and First streets — the west and east directions of U.S. Highway 101 — crawled through the area between Race and Ennis streets.

The bank is located at First and Chambers streets in the commercial block between the two U.S. 101 traffic directions.

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