Robber hits bank in Heights

Hood River police continue search with FBI help

When the alert went out on Tuesday that U.S. Bank in the Heights had been robbed, it was no April Fool’s joke.

Hood River law enforcement agencies scrambled to the scene after the lone male suspect fled on foot shortly after 2 p.m. and spent the next few hours searching nearby neighborhoods.

But the robber who had used a demand note to gain an undisclosed amount of cash was unable to be located. According to police reports, the perpetrator was not wearing a mask when he presented the note to a teller and didn’t appear to be carrying a weapon.

He is described as a Caucasian man between 25-35 years of age, 5 feet 9 inches to 6 feet tall and weighing from 155 to 185 pounds. When last seen, the suspect was wearing a green ball cap with a tan or brown bill, possibly bearing a Nike swoosh. His clothing included a black leather jacket, gray t-shirt, blue jeans and newer white tennis shoes with blue markings.

“The FBI is now involved in this investigation and it is hopeful their familiarity with other robberies that have occurred in the region will help shed some light on this case,” said Hood River District Attorney John Sewell.

He said because the money held in banks is federally insured, the suspect will be prosecuted in a federal court when apprehended.

Several blocks from the scene of the robbery, about 160 students, parents and staffers were participating in a Run for Fitness at May Street Elementary School. Principal Dan Patton said the group was unaware of the unfolding drama until a community member called his office to report hearing about the police activity over the scanner. At that time Patton said he surveiled the area but didn’t observe any unusual happenings.

“We didn’t note anything that would have caused us to be alarmed directly,” said Patton.

Sewell is asking anyone who saw a person matching the above description on April 1 to report that information to 386-3103.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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