FBI: Bank of the West robberies not connected

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) - The FBI believes two Omaha bank robberies at the same financial institution less than 1 hour apart are not related.

Tuesday at 9:30 a.m., a masked suspect entered the Bank of the West on 168th and Harrison streets demanding money. He was concealed head to toe; but in surveillance photos and a video released by Omaha Police, the suspect was wearing a distinct bicycle helmet and scarf. He then fled with an undisclosed amount of money.

The FBI recovered a bike helmet and black bag believed to be involved in the robbery a couple blocks away.

At 10:15 a.m., another Bank of the West was robbed at 85th and Dodge. The only description was a man wearing a black shirt who fled with cash.

The FBI says they do not believe these two bank robberies are connected, but do believe the suspects should be considered armed and dangerous.

The Nebraska Bankers Association officials said they're concerned these crimes have become increasingly violent in the Omaha and Lincoln areas; that criminals are doing more to conceal their identities; and that they're going to bank vaults for more cash.

"It's very organized. In many cases, they're timing their robberies," said Richard Baier, CEO of the Nebraska Bankers Association. "Those kinds of more specific things that would tell you they're getting more deliberate in their process."

Anyone with information about either of these robberies is asked to call the Omaha Police Department at 402-444-7867. Tips leading to an arrest could be eligible for a $20,000 cash reward.

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