A forensics specialist with the Santa Monica Police Department dusts for fingerprints Thursday at the Wells Fargo on Fourth Street. Police report that the branch was the site of an attempted robbery. (photo by Daniel Archuleta)

DOWNTOWN — Police swept the Downtown area Wednesday afternoon in search of a man who unsuccessfully attempted to rob the Wells Fargo Bank at Fourth Street and Arizona Avenue.

Police were alerted to the attempted bank robbery at 11:54 a.m.

A man came into the branch and passed a teller a note demanding money and suggesting that he had a gun, said Sgt. Richard Lewis, spokesperson for the Santa Monica Police Department.

The man didn’t wait for the cash. He fled south on Fourth Street, out of sight.

The suspect was described as a 5-foot-5 or 5-foot-7 white or Latino male in his 30s weighing approximately 150 pounds. He has a shaved head, a clean shaven face and was wearing a dark shirt and a blue or black backpack, Lewis said.

Police shut down the entrance to the bank and dusted for fingerprints as other officers combed through Downtown with no success.

This is the second bank robbery in Santa Monica this year. The first occurred Jan. 17 when an African-American male in his 40s passed a note to a teller ordering her to put her hands up.

That man did get away with an undisclosed amount of cash.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the FBI at (888) CANTHIDE (226-8443), or the SMPD at (310) 458-8427.

Anyone wishing to remain anonymous may call the WeTip hotline at (800) 78-CRIME (27463) or submit the tip online at www.wetip.com. Tipsters can also contact Crime Stoppers by either calling (800) 222-TIPS, texting from their mobile, or by visiting www.lacrimestoppers.org. Callers may remain anonymous and may be qualified to receive a $1,000 reward from Crime Stoppers.


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