Cops 0, robber 4: Tahoe El Dorado Savings hit -- again

For the fourth time since June 25, an El Dorado Savings Bank has been robbed.

The latest robbery occurred Wednesday at 4:22 p.m. when an unknown man used a note to take money at 942 Emerald Bay Road in South Lake Tahoe.

Police and others speculate Wednesday's suspect was the same man from the three previous robberies. If so, he has a penchant for robbing the branch close to 4:30 p.m.

Wednesday's robbery attracted a host of authorities who searched streets around the bank. The man was last seen heading south from the bank toward Tucker Street.

People trying to use the bank were turned away by officers and yellow crime tape. No one was hurt.

Officer Chuck Owens wondered how the man could pull off the heist with officers working overtime and surveying the banks.

Onlookers voiced frustration about another robbery and the man who got away.

"There's another bank robbery?" asked a man going to the post office next door. "Good Lord, I wonder if it's the same guy."

Gene Ray, a postal employee, said he was focused on his work and didn't see anything out of the ordinary.

"This is getting old," he said. "I wish the guy would try and rob me with a note."

The heists began June 25 when El Dorado Savings on Al Tahoe Boulevard was robbed. The Emerald Bay Road bank was first robbed Aug. 4. Roughly three weeks later, the branch on Lake Tahoe Boulevard was hit.

In all cases, a man walked in with a backpack and note. No gun has been seen, but the man usually implies he has one.

Although the same man may have committed the four robberies, history shows a chance remains for his capture. In 1992, Thomas Murry admitted to committing five bank robberies. He was caught stopped at a stop sign during a brief car chase after he robbed Bank of the West.

In 1999, Meredith Howard Polzel was arrested in Truckee for three South Shore bank robberies in six days.

Both men were eventually convicted.

Wednesday's suspect is described as white and about 6 feet tall with Oakley sunglasses and a manicured goatee. He wore a red hat, military green top, blue jeans and white tennis shoes.

Anyone with information is asked to call police Detective Mark Tappen at (530) 542-6100 or the FBI at (530) 542-4140. Those wishing to remain anonymous may contact Secret Witness at (530) 541-6800.


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