The Daily Pennsylvanian is a student-run nonprofit.

Please support us by disabling your ad blocker on our site.

Two police officers leave the scene of yesterday's robbery at Commerce Bank on Walnut Street, the fourth in the past year. [Jacques-Jean Tiziou/The Daily Pennsylvanian]

Commerce Bank was robbed yesterday morning for the fourth time in a little over a year, according to University Police.

An unarmed man reportedly approached a teller in the University City branch of Commerce, located at 3731 Walnut St., a few minutes before 10:50 a.m. Police said he handed the teller a threatening note and made off with $3,000.

"He wrote out a demand note on a deposit slip and handed it to the teller," Deputy Chief of Investigations William Danks said.

According to Commerce branch manager Amber Peipher, the teller then gave the note to a more experienced teller who gave the man the money.

"She just gave the guy some money to get him out of here," Peipher said.

According to Danks, the FBI is looking for an African-American man, 6 feet tall, in his late 30s and with a heavy build.

The man was last seen by one of the bank's managers wearing a brown hat and brown jacket and reportedly got into a light blue Subaru station wagon driven by another African-American man. The pair then drove north on 38th Street.

The manager "just walked out the door to look to see what direction he went," Peipher said. "He gave the police the car description and the license description."

The witness was able to give police a partial description of the station wagon's Pennsylvania license plate, according to police reports.

According to Danks, the FBI has taken over investigation of the incident.

"There is film of the event that was confiscated by the FBI and will be reviewed by them," Danks said. "There are also two Philadelphia Police detectives assigned to the major crimes unit who are on the case."

Peipher said the two tellers who were involved are currently undergoing counseling and will be returning to work tomorrow.

Yesterday's robbery marks the seventh time Commerce has been robbed in the past five years.

The bank was last robbed in February, when an armed man approached a bank teller and demanded that his bag be filled with money. Two University Police officers arrested the man several blocks away after seeing him flee the scene.

Last December, the bank was robbed when a man entered the bank and handed the teller a note demanding money.

The suspect fled west on Walnut Street toward 38th Street, taking $2,000 in cash with him.

In October 2000, a man came into the bank wielding a simulated weapon and fled the bank with $700 in cash. He was later arrested by the FBI for a bank robbery in southern New Jersey.

The bank was also robbed in March 1996, March 1997 and July 1999.

Comments powered by Disqus

Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.