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Witness calls bank robber 'very polite'

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Posted: Thursday, June 19, 2014 12:57 am | Updated: 12:57 am, Thu Jun 19, 2014.

    POCATELLO — Terry Commons says when he politely held the door open for an older man exiting the U.S. Bank on Yellowstone Avenue, he had no idea his common courtesy was being spent on a bank robber.

    Commons said Wednesday that he was walking into the U.S. Bank to cash a check at about 4 p.m. on Tuesday, and after opening the door and moving to enter the building, he was met by an older man who was coming out at the same time he was walking in.

    “We both hit at the same time, and I held the door open,” Commons said. “I said ‘Excuse me,’ and he said, ‘Thank you.’ He was very polite.”

    Aside from the alleged bank robber being a bit older in years, Commons said he came away with one other obvious observation.

    “When he passed me at the door, he reeked of alcohol,” he said.

    It was only after he got into the bank that Commons realized something was amiss. He said there were no customers and just a handful of bank personnel inside at the time, including two tellers. He approached one, who said she was busy. The other raised her hand, waiving him over. Commons said that’s when officials locked the bank, and after he completed his transaction, asked him to have a seat.

    “They handed me a piece of paper and asked me write down everything I saw,” he said. “Then the police came and asked me some questions and asked me to write a statement.”

    Police are still looking for the man who allegedly robbed the U.S. Bank, located at 855 Yellowstone Ave., on Tuesday afternoon. According to the Pocatello Police Department, the man walked into the bank at about 4 p.m. on Tuesday and demanded money. No weapons were observed and the man left the bank with an undisclosed amount of money.

    He is described as a white male, about 5 foot, 10 inches tall, 150 to 170 pounds and between 40 and 60 years old. He was wearing a Denver Broncos hat and a gray sweatshirt. Anyone with information is asked to contact police dispatch at 234-6100.

    It’s the second robbery of a U.S. Bank branch in Pocatello this spring. William C. Reimer is accused of robbing the U.S. Bank, at 120 N. Arthur Ave. on March 28.

    Police said Reimer entered the bank shortly after 3 p.m. that day delivered a note to a teller that demanded money, and then left with an undisclosed amount of money. He was taken into custody shortly after the robbery and is slated for a preliminary hearing on June 23.

    Slowing the prosecution of Reimer has been concerns over his competency. He was ruled incompetent to face the charge as of May 12 but that changed last week when the order committing Reimer to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare was terminated.

    For his politeness on Tuesday afternoon — not to mention timing — Commons said he spent about 35 minutes at the U.S. Bank, writing his statement and answering police officers’ questions.

    What he came away with was an appreciation for how bank employees and police officers handled the situation.

    “I was impressed with how professional the bank (employees) and police were,” he said. “(The bank employees) knew exactly what to do. Their response was quick and polite.”

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