The focus of the investigation into what is now a pair of daylight bank robberies in Granville has narrowed to focus on a cross-border connection to at least one particular suspect, police said.
Among the numerous leads Granville Police have been following since a woman walked into the Main Street TD Bank on the morning of Oct. 25 was a connection to various bank robberies in Vermont over the past several weeks.
A second robbery five days later, this time by a male suspect, provided police with another case, but at the same time helped to narrow the scope of the investigation.
The suspect in the Saturday robbery closely resembles, and is believed to be the same person, who robbed two Rutland-area banks in the past eight weeks.
Granville Police Sgt. David Williams said police from multiple agencies were continuing to chase down leads regarding the Tuesday, Oct. 25, 11 a.m. robbery and working on the “more technical” aspects of that case when the second robbery took place Oct. 29 just before noon.
“This isn’t a case of a four-man department handling this thing all by itself,” Williams said pointing out State Police from two state, investigators, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office and the Glens Falls Police Department have been involved in various aspects of the investigation.
Williams said investigations into robberies take time as multiple leads have been ‘run down’ or followed until they are wrapped up or investigated as well as possible.
Every report of an individual wearing a black hooded sweatshirt had to be looked at until that person was cleared, as just one example of the leads police have investigated.
Reports of a van in the area also had to be examined; police found the van was driven by a man dropping off kids in the area and had nothing to do with the robbery.
Referring to the popular television show, Williams said the ‘CSI effect’ causes the public to expect cases to conclude in much less time than it takes in the real world. “It’s not like CSI that you see on TV, you don’t wrap these things up in 30 minutes it take follow up, subpoenas and technical investigative work,” Williams said.
Between the two cases Williams said approximately 75 leads have been followed and or cleared.
Police considered the two robbers, and therefore both robberies, linked fairly early on, Williams said. “After the first robbery we reached out to Det. Sgt. Copogrossi to see if they had information that they might be similar to our (robbery). In discussing this case with him it appeared like there were (similarities) and we made arrangements to meet to compare notes,” Williams said.
Officials are asking residents to look at both bank security photos and consider if they have seen either person or both in the area in recent days.
A single robber, a white woman, estimated to be in her middle 20s with dark hair, 5-foot-7, medium-build, approximately 130 pounds, wearing a black sweatshirt with a hood and black gloves presented a note to the teller demanding cash and implying she had a gun in the dark colored shoulder bag she carried.
Police said the dark hooded shirt had a small logo on the chest.
The suspect also has freckles on her face below her eyes.
Granville Police said they do not believe the suspects are local after officers viewed the security images and did not recognize the suspects.
Saturday about 11:45 a.m. a thin white male around 6 feet tall walked into the bank and displayed a note to the teller demanding cash and implying he had a gun.
The man wore a dark colored jacket over a white hooded sweatshirt and had a dark colored but faded baseball cap pulled low, possibly to attempt to hide his face from surveillance cameras.
The suspect had a beard police referred to as “ungroomed” in a dark color, likely reddish brown or brown. After leaving the bank the suspect turned to his right and went down the stairs into the parking area behind the bank and from there left the area.
Also confirmed were reports the woman might have left the area in a four door car with New Jersey license plates, possibly dark red or maroon in color, police said.
No report of a similar vehicle was made Saturday, but police dispatch advised officers to be on the lookout for such a vehicle due to its connection to the first robbery.
Williams confirmed that was a detail that had been withheld from the media after the first robbery.
Police were asking anyone with information to contact them at (518) 642-1414 after the security camera images were posted to the web pages of local media outlets.