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Atlantic Beach bank holdup prompts manhunt for robber

Residents warned to avoid area, keep their eyes open

ATLANTIC BEACH, Fla. – Police warned Atlantic Beach residents to shelter in place Friday morning as they searched for a bank robber.

The Atlantic Beach Police Department asked residents to avoid the area of Atlantic Boulevard and Aquatic Drive if possible after a robber pushed a note to a teller at the Wells Fargo and ran out with cash.

Police said the robber did not claim to have a weapon and none was seen.

Police said they were searching the area for a 40- to 60-year-old black man who is about 5 feet, 6 inches tall wearing blue jeans and a dark-colored T-shirt, an orange vest that had "Miller Electric Company" printed on the back and a baseball cap. Police said they found the orange vest after the man ran from the bank. He was last seen near Sunrise Church, off Aquatic Drive.

ABPD said Jacksonville Sheriff's Office K-9 units and the JSO helicopter were called in to help with the search, which broke down just before noon.

Anyone with information about the robber or the bank robbery is asked to call 904-247-5859. To remain anonymous and be eligible for a reward up to $3,000, contact First Coast Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-8477 or submit a tip at fccrimestoppers.com.

Crime concerns

The bank robbery was the second attack on a business in the Beaches area in the last three days.

The Loop on Third Street, a mile east of the bank, was robbed Wednesday night at 9:30 p.m., just 30 minutes after the Neptune Beach restaurant closed.

One of the robbers had an assault rifle, and the other had a handgun. Police said the robbers forced the manager into the office and took money from the safe.

No one was hurt.

The robberies have Beaches residents on edge.

"I'm a little more timid going to work. I usually ride my bike to work and come home around 1:30 at night. It's kind of scary riding my bike home, so I've been taking Ubers," Joe Vivoli said.

Atlantic Beach Mayor Ellen Glasser released a statement about the crimes:

"I won't speak for Neptune Beach about the armed robbery at the The Loop a few days ago, but I can be crystal clear that public safety is of paramount concern throughout the beaches. Police cooperation between jurisdictions is excellent. All efforts are being made to identify and apprehend the bank robber at the Atlantic Beach Wells Fargo this morning. Be assured that police were on the scene quickly to respond and investigate, secure the neighboring areas, and put out a suspect description. People can help police by being our eyes and ears in the community when violent crimes like these sometimes occur. They should not take matters into their own hands but are asked call the Atlantic Beach Police Department at 904-247-5859 with any information that might be helpful."