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Bank robbery reported at Westamerica branch

Police are searching for a man who robbed a Merced bank at gunpoint Wednesday afternoon.

Just after 4 p.m., the robber entered the Westamerica bank at 490 W. Olive Ave. He was brandishing a handgun and demanded money from a teller.

The robbery took a few minutes, and after getting an undisclosed amount of money, the man ran from the bank, according to Lt. Andre Matthews.

No one was hurt in the robbery. Police were informed of the robbery by a witness who walked up to the bank while the theft was in progress. Around the same time, police dispatchers were also notified by the bank's surveillance company about the robbery, Matthews said.

The robber is described as a black man, about 5-feet-8-inches tall, around 25 years old. He was wearing a dark blue puffy jacket and had a braided hairstyle.

Police are reviewing surveillance footage of the robbery.

Anyone with information can call Detective Scott Skinner at (209) 385-4702 or the police department's automated tip line at (209) 385-4725. Callers can remain anonymous.

-- Victor A. Patton


4 p.m.: Merced Police are responding to reports of a bank robbery that may have occurred at the Westamerica Bank branch at Olive and M streets.



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