Recent bank robberies in Center City Philadelphia leave workers on edge

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Many store employees tell Action News they're on edge after learning about multiple banks around Center City Philadelphia that have been robbed in the past two weeks because they're worried they could be targeted next.

Republic Bank branch on the 800 block of Chestnut Street has been robbed three times in the past two weeks, according to police.

"It's really scary, I know for them too. Even one time is traumatic, but now they've had to go through this three times, and so soon to one another," said Emma Rusnak, a barista at Passero's across the street from Republic Bank.

Rusnak said she knows many of the employees who work inside the bank.

"This is our bank, this is where we go every single day to do our deposits, sometimes even multiple times a day," said Rusnak. "And the folks over there come into our shop also every day. We know each other by name, we're all friends."
Security cameras have caught three different suspects who each got away with money.

On January 23 police said a man handed the bank teller a note demanding money and ran away.

Then on January 27, another man was caught on camera. Police said he verbally asked for money and ran.

Then on Wednesday another man, wearing a winter hat with furry ear flaps, left with an undisclosed amount of cash.

The manager of Passero's Coffee Roasters said his staff is on alert.

"Now we're even more so on guard because it's what, like, three robberies in two weeks. I mean, I definitely want to be on the lookout for anything suspicious or crazy," said Robert Adams, the manager of Passero's.

Other banks in the area have been recently targeted too.

Police said a man robbed the Citizens Bank branch on the 800 block of Walnut Street. He gave the teller a threatening demand note, which said he had a gun and would use it, although no weapon was physically displayed. He got away with an undisclosed amount of money.

Another man was caught on camera at the Wells Fargo Bank on the 2000 block of Market Street where he got away with an undisclosed amount of cash.

"We'll keep our cameras on, and keep a lookout for each other. We all have each other's backs around this neighborhood," said Rusnak.

Late Thursday afternoon, police say a man robbed the Citzens Bank on the 2000 block of Market Street.

Philadelphia police and the FBI are investigating. If you recognize any of the men in the surveillance video contact authorities

Philadelphia police said they have increased their presence in this area of Chestnut Street.
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