Calm and quick Leechburg bank robber sought
A bank robbery occurred largely unnoticed in the middle of Leechburg's business district on Thursday morning.
Business owners and employees at shops near Farmers & Merchants Bank at 160 Market St. said they had been unaware that a man had robbed the bank at about 10:40 a.m.
Leechburg Mayor Shawn Lerch said the unidentified man was in and out of the bank in 59 seconds.
Described as being “very calm,” he presented a teller with a handwritten note saying he had a weapon, but did not show one.
The man's note, which was left behind, said he wanted cash and instructed the teller not to put a dye pack in with the money, according to Lerch.
The man got away with an undisclosed amount of cash. He fled the bank on foot and was last seen heading toward Second Street.
There were no customers in the bank, the mayor said, and no bank employees were hurt.
“Everyone is OK,” said Clem Rosenberger, F&M senior vice president and chief operating officer.
The bank closed after the robbery, and was expected to reopen Friday, according to a note posted on the bank's door.
Lerch said police approached people at every business around the bank. All said they had not seen or heard anything.
A few doors down on the same side of the street, Violet Stivason had been sitting at a card table outside another bank, First Commonwealth, selling charity and fundraising tickets. She said she had been there since 9 a.m.
“I didn't see anything. I was reading my book, I think,” she said as police began to investigate the holdup. “I wish I would've heard something, but I didn't.”
Immediately next door, Pat Kolezez, head designer at Ralph's Florist, said they didn't know a robbery had happened until a customer came in and told them.
“We had no clue. We've been so busy,” she said.
That it happened was surprising to many.
“It's a quiet little town most of the time,” Kolezez said.
Across the street, Coco Coffehouse owner Nikki Saxion found the prospect of a robbery so close to be “very scary.”
Saxion said she got to work around 8 a.m., and was probably back in her kitchen when the holdup happened. LIke the others, she said she hadn't noticed anything out of the ordinary.
State police and the FBI were assisting in the investigation.
Except for a bright blue ball cap, the man did not obscure his face and was captured on surveillance video.
Lerch said Leechburg police are committed to solving the crime. Extra officers were put on duty, and more interviews were being conducted, he said.
“We're going to give it our all to catch him,” Lerch said.
Staff writer Chuck Biedka contributed to this report. Brian C. Rittmeyer is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4701 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Fawn man accused in assault sentenced to probation
- West Deer burglary suspect arrested
- Mia Z voices no regrets after failing to advance on NBC show
- Bridge replacement projects set to start in Fawn, O’Hara
- Lower Burrell to open Leechburg Road possibilities
- Arnold family back home after gas leak
- Retired New Kensington attorney Robert McVey spent life helping people
- Kiski Area students reach out to community for Global Youth Service Day
- Mia Z advances to next level
- Late Springdale Township couple’s donation will create 2nd public hunting land in Allegheny County
- Alle-Kiski Valley answers the call of ‘Banshee’