LAKEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4) – The FBI’s Rocky Mountain Safe Street Task Force calls a Wednesday morning robbery at a bank in Lakewood one of the most violent robberies they’ve seen in quite some time. They also believe it is connected to a shooting at a nearby convenience store.
“It was the same MO, it was threatening, they all wore those masks,” FBI Public Affairs Specialist Deborah Sherman told CBS4.
Both incidents happened within minutes of each other Tuesday morning. Around 9:10 a.m. two men wearing “Scream” costume masks made their way into the US Bank on Carr Street demanding money.
“These guys were just ruthless,” Sherman said. “They came in, pointed guns in the tellers’ faces, they pushed them around and threatened to kill them.”
One of the tellers suffered minor injuries. The suspects were able to get an undisclosed amount of cash and left the bank in a stolen Jeep. Authorities said the men dumped the Jeep at an apartment complex about four blocks away before stealing black SUV. Lakewood police used K9s to try and track down the suspects, but couldn’t find the men.
At the same time of the bank robbery a man wearing a skeleton mask barged into the 7-Eleven convenience store located at 1110 South Pierce Street. He also had a gun.
“He told everybody to get on the ground and he fired two shots into the ceiling,” Sherman said.
Thankfully nobody was hurt, but the manager was distressed, according to a nearby business owner who was in the store just minutes before the shooting.
“He was shook up, as was I,” Christine Howell said. “He was asking if I had seen anyone running from the store or if I heard gunshots. I didn’t.”
Sherman said the suspect didn’t take anything from the store before he ran. Instead, investigators believe he was there as part of the plan to rob the bank.
“Our experts believe this was them trying to distract us from responding quickly to the bank.”
Authorities also believe it wasn’t the first time the suspects had robbed a bank or committed a violent crime. They’re concerned they may strike again.
“Someone could get really seriously hurt here, so that’s why we’re asking for the public’s help,” Sherman said.
Additional Information From Crime Stoppers
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Kelly Werthmann joined the CBS4 team in 2012 as the morning reporter, covering national stories like the Aurora Theater Shooting and devastating Colorado wildfires. She now reports for CBS4 News at 10 and is always open to story ideas. Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter @KellyCBS4.