WINDHAM – A man brandishing a black handgun held up the Evergreen Credit Union in North Windham Tuesday afternoon, marking the first bank robbery in the area in about a decade.

Windham police were on the scene about a minute after a bank employee sounded an alarm, but the suspect managed to elude capture, according to Sgt. Peter Fulton. The suspect was last seen running toward the nearby Aubuchon Hardware parking lot, Fulton said. It is not clear whether there was a getaway vehicle parked there.

Police described the robber as between 5 feet 8 inches and 6 feet in height with a slim build. He was wearing a hooded sweatshirt and blue jeans, and had light-colored facial hair and was wearing a black ski mask.

The suspect threatened the teller and showed a gun, Fulton said. No one was injured, and the robber made off with an undisclosed amount of money.

Police are not releasing many details of the incident so as not to jeopardize the investigation. They are also not releasing surveillance video or a sketch of the robber at this time, Fulton said.

The bank was closed immediately after the robbery. A team of detectives was at the bank for several hours following the incident. Police tape was strung to close off the driveway entrances to the bank’s parking lot.

It has been about 10 years, Fulton said, since a bank was robbed in North Windham, which has about 10 bank locations. The last armed robbery occurred in 2010, when The Cigaret Shopper on Roosevelt Trail was robbed and the clerk bound in a back room after the robber demanded the combination to the safe. That case, in which the robber fled via a minivan through the Walmart parking lot and north on Route 302, remains unsolved.

“We’re working every lead that we’re getting,” Fulton said of Tuesday’s bank robbery. “And we got a bunch yesterday afternoon and this morning.”

Fulton said three Windham police units were on scene at the credit union, located at 785 Roosevelt Trail next to Friendly Restaurant, within 30 seconds. A K-9 unit tracked the suspect to the Aubuchon parking lot, where the trail ended, Fulton said.

According to Tucker Cole, president of Evergreen Credit Union, which has additional locations in Naples, Portland and South Portland, the robbery is the first in the bank’s 60-year history. On Wednesday, Cole, who lives in Raymond, praised the staff’s handling of the situation.

“I think the reason why the staff acted so well is because we train so much on it that hopefully you want it to be instinct,” Cole said.

Cole said tellers are trained to do what the robber instructs, and, once the robber exits, the doors are locked and each employee sits down and writes what he or she saw and a description of the robber.

“Because the minute people start to talk together it may blend those descriptions together, so there are lots of protocols that we can do to assist law enforcement if we’ve done our jobs correctly,” he said.

Cole said the employees are “shaken up,” but are doing well, “and our first concern is that they stay all right and we’ll certainly continue to monitor that and give any support we can,” he added.

After closing early on Tuesday, the credit union reopened for regular hours on Wednesday.

A man brandishing a black handgun held up the Evergreen Credit
Union in North Windham Tuesday afternoon, marking the first bank
robbery in the area in about a decade. (Staff photo by John
Balentine)


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