A Thursday morning bank robbery may be connected to a call-in threat of violence at a Fort Dodge elementary school.
The robbery at CS Bank, 130 N. 29th St., was reported to investigators around 9:15 a.m.
A man walked into the bank and demanded money from the tellers, according to Fort Dodge Police Chief Tim Carmody. Employees gave the man an undetermined amount of money before he fled the scene on foot.
-Messenger photo by Joe Sutter
Tony Walter, a Webster County Sheriff’s deputy, and his K9 officer, Cayd, returns to CS Bank after it was robbed Thursday morning. The sheriff’s department and Fort Dodge police searched with the dog throughout the Garden Village Apartments area, where a witness had seen the suspect run off on foot, Walter said.
The robber didn't show any weapons during the robbery, and no one was injured, Carmody said.
Once the robbery was called in, officers began searching the area for the suspect.
Webster County Sheriff's Deputy Tony Walter also arrived on the scene with his K9 officer, Cayd, in an attempt to track the robber.
Walter and other investigators searched through the area around Garden Village Apartments - the direction in which the robber reportedly ran.
However, they didn't find the suspect.
"It's too bad we didn't bring a bad guy back," Walter said.
Investigators think the robbery may be connected to a phone-in threat 16 minutes before the robbery was reported. Around 9 a.m., staff at Feelhaver Elementary School, 1300 14th Ave. N., received a phone call from someone who threatened to "shoot up the school," Carmody said.
While police responded to Feelhaver, the school went into a modified lockout, according to Jennifer Lane, director of communications for the Fort Dodge Community School District.
"We went and locked the outdoor entrances of all our buildings except the main entrance," she said Thursday morning. "The main entrance is also being closely monitored for people who are coming in and out."
Lane said that although the lockout lasted only an hour, security measures remained in place all day.
"We're still being extra vigilant, especially with who is coming in our doors," she said.
Carmody said early Thursday afternoon that investigators are treating the threat and the robbery as two separate incidents. However, they are attempting to determine if there is a connection between the two cases.
Carmody said officers were confident that there weren't any threats to students in Fort Dodge.
"Over the days to come, we will continue to work with all our community school administrators to ensure that our schools are safe for our children," he said.
He praised the school's reaction to the threat.
"Their coordination and partnership in providing a safe environment for our children is commendable," Carmody said.
The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation and Federal Bureau of Investigation are working with Fort Dodge police to help solve the case.
"We are confident that there are those in our community that may have seen the suspect in the bank robbery," Carmody said. "The same is true of the suspect or suspects involved in the Feelhaver incident."
Anyone with information regarding the CS Bank robbery or the threat made to Feelhaver Elementary School is asked to call the FDPD at 573-1426 or Webster County Crime Stoppers at 573-1444. Tips can also be sent online at wccrimestoppers.com or by texting "LEC" and the tip to 274637.