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Bank robbery, police ask citizens to speak out

On Monday, Oct. 26, two men robbed the First Community Bank on State Highway 19 South in Trinity, assaulting two clerks who went to an area hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Around 9:35 a.m., two black male suspects entered the bank while one suspect waited in a getaway car. Surveillance footage shows the car is a white, compact four door, and Trinity Police believe it to be a newer model Toyota Camry.

After the two suspects entered, Chief Steve Jones of Trinity Police Department says they aggressively took control and committed two assaults against bank clerks.

“[The clerks] were both treated at ETMC – Trinity. They’re okay now,” said Jones.

The suspects, who left with a substantial amount of money, were wearing blue jeans with dark hoodies, and stockings over their faces. Jones said there is currently no information on the description of the third suspect, who, after the incident, drove south on Highway 19 toward Huntsville with the two robbers. Jones said they are considered armed and dangerous.

At first, Jones said, T.P.D. thought there might be some connection to the recent McDonald’s robbery in Trinity, but they aren’t convinced due to a number of differences.

“It’s a different type of robbery, and there were more people involved in the one at the bank,” said Jones. “We aren’t sure, but we aren’t ruling it out.”

The McDonald’s robbery took place in the early morning hours of Oct. 25, not long before 1 a.m. T.P.D. posted surveillance footage on their Facebook of a light skinned, black male wearing a dark colored, puffy jacket with fur trim, a ball cap, and white gloves. He was also armed with a handgun.

The video shows the suspect entering the store, approaching the counter, and looking around briefly before jumping over. He is then seen ushering an employee to a different area of the store where she is briefly out of sight, but the suspect can be seen waving his handgun in the air. He appears to be holding a dark bag as he attempts to open the drive thru window. After a brief struggle, he retrieves the same employee and has her open it for him, then escapes.

Along with the video, T.P.D. posted: “Please share this post on your personal page. Let this criminal know our community will not stand for this type of behavior and help get the word out. Someone in our community has answers that will help bring this suspect to justice. Why does it have to take someone getting killed for people to step up and do the right thing?”

The next day, the bank robbery occurred. Jones said the bank robbery suspects are more likely to be linked to a robbery that occurred on Sept. 17 in the Lufkin area where two suspects attempted to break into Lufkin’s Citi Trends store; the two had a vehicle that matched the description of the car used at the bank robbery in Trinity.

“Trinity has a low amount of robberies compared to other communities, so it’s disconcerting to see two back-to-back,” said Jones. “On a more positive note, social media indicates that the community seems to be behind us and supportive in finding the suspects.”

First Community is a member bank of Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). When federally insured banks are robbed, the F.B.I. and Texas Rangers are called in to investigate. Jones said Ranger Jeter processed the scene while local law enforcement followed up on other information.

“Someone in our community has information about these crimes and they’re not giving it,” said Jones. “The next person who gets hurt could easily be your friend or family member. Notifying us or the Sheriff’s Office anonymously could prevent someone from getting hurt or even killed.”

If you have information on these crimes, please call Trinity Police Department at 936-594-2505.

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