BRADENTON — Bank employees alerted police after they kept a man locked out who was wearing sunglasses and a hat Tuesday afternoon, according to Bradenton Police Department.
The man left when he could not get into the front doors of First America Bank, 2811 Manatee Ave. W., and walked away taking off an outer layer of clothing, including a dark long-sleeve shirt.
Employees alerted police to the possibility the man was going to rob the bank.
The man, who was possibly accompanied by a woman, was seen jumping a fence.
“I just saw two people jump the fence and go into the playground area. One was a girl and one was a guy,” said Ryan Moore, owner of Moore Employer Services, whose business is next to the bank.
Moore said he wasn’t able to get a detailed view.
Bradenton Police set up a perimeter, searching with patrol and using a Manatee County Sheriff’s Office trained dog and helicopter at 2:37 p.m.
If found, the man would not necessarily be charged with attempted bank robbery.
Police would have to prove he intended to rob the bank, said Deputy Chief Jeffrey Lewis.
“At this point, I don’t think they would have been able to establish that,” he said.
The call is labeled as a suspicious circumstance.
“This is certainly odd behavior for a bank customer to exhibit to not being allowed in. To run off and shed your outer layer of clothes shows some attempt something was going to occur or was being planned,” Lewis said.
It’s possible through an investigation, detectives will be able to prove it was an attempted bank robbery.
One man was stopped about a block away, but bank employees viewed him, and he did not match the man’s description, according to police.
Detectives were not able to confirm if the man is a possible suspect to other bank robberies along Manatee Avenue West in the past few months.
The same First Bank America was robbed of a large sum of money April 14 by a man wearing a blue sweatshirt, shorts and a baseball cap. The man was about 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighed about 160 pounds. He passed a note to the teller.
A similar looking suspect robbed Superior Bank, 2207 Manatee Ave. W., on May 5.
No one has been arrested in either case.
On Tuesday, the man who tried entering the bank was wearing blue jean shorts, dark long-sleeve shirt with a gray T-shirt underneath, a gray baseball cap, tennis shoes and sunglasses.
Anyone with any information can contact Bradenton Detective Kevin Bunch at 932-9380 or remain anonymous by calling Crimestoppers at (866) 634-TIPS (8477).