Customers and staff at the Lac La Biche ATB were traumatized during a brazen midday armed bank robbery last Tuesday that has police still searching for the suspects. RCMP say one masked man and another stormed into the bank armed with a machete and a sawed-off shotgun, at 2 p.m. and demanded money, while a third person waited in the getaway truck.
The men left quickly in a charcoal-coloured Ford F-250 truck with an undisclosed amount of money a few minutes later, leaving tellers and customers traumatized from the event, said Lac La Biche RCMP Staff Sergeant Henry Van Dorland.
Local bank staff didn’t comment on the incident, but an ATB spokesperson says staff reacted well and customers and staff all escaped the ordeal with no physical injuries.
“It’s a huge relief that no one was hurt and no damage was done,” said Shawn Ohler, an ATB spokesperson.
RCMP were called to the bank by a 911 call, and within minutes of the robbery, police located the pick-up truck in an alley between Lakeview Manor apartments and Parkland I Motel. It is there that police say the suspects jumped into another vehicle, believed to be a 1989 Chevrolet Cavalier convertible, to escape.
Police from Fort McMurray, Bonnyville, Athabasca, Boyle and Smoky Lake set up roadblocks on nearby highways to help find the vehicle, which was eventually located at a home in the Young’s Beach subdivision, where police obtained a search warrant to check the vehicle and the residence and obtained what they say are “items of interest” from the residence.
Police did not confirm which vehicle had one of the weapon’s inside, but did say that they found fingerprints in both vehicles. After doing background checks on the Ford truck, police discovered that it was stolen out of Edmonton earlier in the week.
Two out of the three suspects have been identified and police are confident that the third suspect will be identified in the next few weeks thanks to forensic evidence found in the vehicles and in the LLB residence, along with the security cameras in ATB.
“Through forensics, we will be able to identify the third person of interest,” said Van Dorland.