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FBI: Four Houston banks robbed within hours

Saturday, April 21, 2012
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Authorities in Houston were busy Saturday as they went from one bank robbery to another -- a total of four in as many hours.

Two of the four robberies Saturday were done by armed suspects. During one, a shot was fired.

Two of the banks were Wells Fargo branches. The others were a Chase Bank and a Compass Bank.

According to a spokesperson for FBI Houston, these robberies do not appear to be connected at this time, but they all remain under investigation.

The first bank robbery of the day was around 10:30am at Wells Fargo in the 10000 block of Beechnut. Officials said one man entered the bank and passed a note to a teller, demanding money. The suspect fled with an undisclosed amount of cash.

Not long after the first, a second robbery happened at Wells Fargo in the 2000 block of Taylor. Two armed men got away with an undisclosed amount of money, investigators said. No one was injured and no shots were fired.

But that wasnt the case in all of the heists.

The next robbery was around 11:45am at Compass Bank in the 1200 block of West 43rd Street in northwest Houston -- just 50 yards away from a Houston Police Department storefront.

Officials said an armed man entered the bank with his face covered and demanded money from a teller.

We spoke to a witness who was hiding under a chair when it all happened.

"I didnt panic. I just kind of went and hid," Bobbi Bilnoski said. "He told the teller to give up all the cash and she did."

Bilnoski said the suspect was leaving when he opened the door, looked around the bank and fired a single shot in the air.

"He just waved the gun up. He made a shot," she said. "Didnt shoot at anyone in particular, but he made a shot."

Investigators believe the shot was fired accidentally. No one was injured.

The latest bank robbery happened around 2:30pm at Chase Bank in the 5000 block of San Felipe. The suspect in this incident was caught on surveillance camera.

Officials said the man went into the bank and handed a teller a note, demanding money. According to investigators, a weapon was threatened but never shown. He got the cash and fled with an accomplice. No one was injured.

Surveillance images from the other three robberies were not released Saturday.

There have been 48 bank robberies in Houston this year, officials said. That's a 50 percent increase from this time last year.

Please stay with Eyewitness News and abc13.com for new information as it becomes available. If you have any information about these robberies, call police or Crime Stoppers.

(Copyright ©2014 KTRK-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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