Two armed men escape after robbing bank in Vail |

Two armed men escape after robbing bank in Vail

Veronica Whitney
Bret Hartman/Vail DailyVail Police Officer Bill Claussen, left, and Vail Sargent Detective Susan Douglas, right, stand in front of the WestStar Bank Monday in Vail Village which was the scene of an armed robbery.

VAIL – Police were still looking Monday for two men they said robbed WestStar Bank in Vail Village earlier that morning.Police said the two men were wearing ski masks and brandishing semiautomatic weapons when they robbed the bank at about 10 a.m. Monday. Another branch of the bank in Vail was robbed in 2001.”We’re following leads,” Suzanne Silverthorn, a spokeswoman for the town of Vail, said Monday afternoon.The FBI joined local police in the investigation of the robbery that took place at the bank located at 302 Hanson Ranch Road. Whenever a bank is robbed it becomes a federal crime and the FBI gets involved. The robbers made off with an undetermined amount of money.Two employees were in the bank at the time of the robbery, but no injuries were reported, Silverthorn said. The wintesses described the suspects as having accents, possibly Australian or European. They were last seen running up a set of stairs toward Hanson Ranch Road.

According to police, the two men entered the bank shortly after it opened and confronted two female employees inside. No one else was in the bank at the time of the hold-up, police said. After separating the two bank employees, the robbers entered a vault stuffed money in a bag and fled.The first suspect is approximately 6 feet tall, wearing a light silver or gray jacket with a dark emblem on the left sleeve. The jacket had the words “Valley Electric” on it. The suspect was wearing a badge or name badge with the name “Dave” on it. He also had a backpack. The second suspect is described as 5 feet 8 inches tall and was wearing a dark blue or black hooded sweatshirt. Both men were possibly wearing black snowboard boots and dark pants. No Valley Electric was found in Eagle County after a search in the phone book, but a company with that name exists in Glenwood Springs.Darold Winchester, manager of the store in Glenwood Springs, said the FBI contacted him Monday.”We never had a Dave employed at the establishment, and we aren’t missing any employees today,” Winchester said when reached by phone Monday.Officers from the Vail, Avon and Minturn police departments and officers from the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office and the Colorado State Patrol were taking part in the investigation.

The last bank robbery in Vail occurred Dec. 4, 2001 when the WestStar Bank branch at 2111 North Frontage Road was robbed of approximately $20,000. Charges were later filed against 39-year-old William David Jennings, who was arrested in Park City, Utah, in April 2002 in conjunction with another robbery there.Staff Writer Veronica Whitney can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 454 or Vail Colorado

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