After launching an investigation into a bank 'theft' from Thursday afternoon, Kennewick detectives learned it was actually two banks hit by the same suspect.

It's a bit confusing because police are calling these incidents "theft from a bank."  Because no weapon was displayed and no direct threat made, it's technically not a robbery.

However, Newstalk870 knows several people in the banking/credit union industry, and they view it as a robbery--period. Regardless of threats or not, it involves robbing the financial institution of money. And the stress, surprise and shock are no less impactful on the teller--whether the suspect is violent or calm.

The first incident occurred around 1PM at the US Bank on Columbia Center Boulevard. Police say the suspect entered, after a brief encounter with a teller, left. Most in the bank, say sources, didn't even know he'd demanded and taken money til he was gone. Then officers learned the same kind of incident had occurred around 11:50AM earlier in the day at the US Bank location on 1st. Ave in downtown Kennewick.

The individual pictured is shown in images mixed from both venues.  It's curious, though that police are calling it "theft from a bank."  The people we know in banking say tellers are instructed not to panic, stay calm, and not draw attention to the suspect. If a note is passed or other demand made for money, they're told to quietly and calmly pass them money. Often a 'bait bag' is given to suspect, it contains tracking devices or even a dye pack that will explode upon opening. This incident is not dramatically different than a few other robberies over the years. Calm suspect or not, two banks were robbed.

Regardless, police are looking for this suspect. Anyone with information is urged to call (509)-628-0333. All leads can be confidential.

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