MARIETTA - Wielding a knife and wearing a ski mask, an armed robber struck for the second time in less than a day in downtown Marietta Friday morning, stealing money from an ATM customer before escaping in a nearby vehicle, Marietta Police said.
The suspect, believed to be the same in both cases, allegedly held one man at knifepoint as he was driving through an ATM Thursday evening and then approached a second man Friday morning and demanded he withdraw money from a nearby ATM, said Capt. Jeff Waite of the Marietta Police Department.
"(Friday) morning at about 7:45, a construction worker was approached in the 100 block of North Third Street by a suspect matching the description from the previous evening," he said.
Customers drive through the Settlers Bank on Third Street Friday morning, where hours earlier a man was forced at knifepoint to withdraw and hand over money to a masked robber. (Photo by Jasmine Rogers)
The suspect, who is described as being between 5-foot-2-inches and 5-foot-4-inches tall with a slender build, brandished a knife with a silver blade and demanded the man retrieve money. At that point the suspect and the victim, a 33-year-old male, went to Settlers Bank at 115 Third St. where the victim withdrew money and gave it to the suspect, said Waite.
A getaway vehicle was waiting nearby, he said.
"(Friday) morning, she got into a red, small pickup truck driven by a bald, heavyset white male who drove to Greene Street and headed west," said Waite.
Investigators believe the same vehicle was used as a means of escape after the Thursday night robbery, he said.
Around 6:40 p.m. Thursday, a 30-year-old male driving through the ATM at The Citizens Bank Company at 110 Second St. reported he was approached by a person pointing a knife at him and demanding money.
That victim also complied, giving the suspect the money he had just withdrawn and his wallet.
Waite declined to say how much money was stolen from either man. In both cases the suspect was wearing a black ski mask and a dark Nike hooded sweatshirt, making the suspect's gender hard to identify.
However, police believe the suspect is female based on descriptions of voice and stature, said Waite.
Calls seeking comment from both banks were not returned Friday.
Waite said police were working with the banks and other nearby businesses to obtain surveillance footage of the crime.
Besides the two victims, no witnesses have come forward, he said.
While the Marietta Police Department is handling the investigation, the Washington County Sheriff's Office will help search for suspects, said Washington County Sheriff Larry Mincks.
"It's being handled by Marietta, but we've been on the lookout for people matching that description and gathering information from informants," he said.
Mincks said individuals should be especially vigilant at ATMs.
"Keep all your windows rolled up and doors locked when you go up to the ATM except your driver's side window," he said.
Mincks also recommended avoiding ATMs late at night and quickly leaving the ATM if someone suspicious approaches it.
Anyone with information about the incidents is asked to call the Marietta Police Department at 373-4141.