Took the Money and Ran
The Newberry Nook Cafe opened its doors just two weeks ago, and according to Roxanne Bradley, they have received quite a welcome.
"We were just standing here, and then we noticed all of the Sheriff's Deputies pulling up, men running with their guns," she said. "So we figured something must be going on."
Just three doors down, a bank robbery was going on. At approximately 2:30 p.m., a lone individual described as a white male in his twenties, between 5' 7" and 5' 9", with a heavy build and short dark hair robbed the Ameris Bank on Newberry Road.
"We went ahead and locked the doors just in case," Bradley recalled. "Then later, we found out that evidently the bank had been robbed or attempted to be robbed, so we kept the doors locked for a little while longer."
Ameris Bank also locked their doors, but they did not reopen Thursday. Alachua County Sheriff's Deputies responded to the call, but did not find the man. Sgt. Keith Faulk said the suspect gave the teller a note and then escaped with the loot.
"Basically, the note said give me the money," Faulk explained. "We do think there was a diversion set-up where a call was made about the Hitchcock's Supermarket just prior to the robbery to lead deputies on a wild goose chase."
Just ten minutes earlier, a report of multiple shootings at the market down the street from the bank was called in. The report was false.
"The call that there was an incident at Hitchcock's put us on the move out there, so the robber wanting to create a diversion actually got more law enforcement to the scene quicker than we probably normally would," Faulk said.
While the response time did not lead to an immediate arrest, it did impress neighbors and ease their minds.
"As fast as they reacted and everything, we feel very secure here," Bradley said.
By Ted Latiak, WCJB TV20 News.
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