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UPDATE: Surveillance Photos of Lawton Bank Robber Released

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LAWTON Okla_ 7News is continuing coverage of that armed robbery of the Southwest Oklahoma Federal Credit Union in Lawton Thursday.

The FBI said one man robbed the credit union near Southwest 67th and Gore around 5:00 PM. Credit union officials say he robbed two tellers and took off with an undisclosed amount of cash.

7News spoke with an FBI agent by phone, who said authorities are still searching for the robber. SWOKFCU President Emmett Meraz said the two tellers were the only ones inside when the robbery took place, and fortunately, no one was hurt.

In photos released by the FBI of the surveillance footage inside the back, you can see that the robber enters the bank with a plastic bag in his left hand and a gun pointing at a teller in the other. Meraz said the robber wasted no time.

"It was a general demand," Meraz said. "'Give me your money', basically and ‘All that you have.'"

The teller gave him the money, and the robber repeated the same demand to the next worker and got more cash. Meraz said the employees did the right thing.

"Our primary concerns are always the health and the safety of our employees and our customers," Meraz said. "We can replace buildings and materials and money, but we can't replace those lives."

The robbery took less than two minutes. The tellers said the thief ran south once he left the building. Meraz believes the robber was casing the credit union before he came in. 

"He already had the hood up, the sweatshirt was on, the bag was wrapped around the hand, and the gun was out but cradled under the arm," Meraz said. "So, it couldn't be seen as he approached the building."

Meraz said the bank has been robbed several times before, and he said fortunately, no one was hurt in those incidents either. He said he can only guess why this bank is a target.

"Why people do those things and why certain areas may be a little more attractive is hard to say," Meraz said. "If an individual is determined enough, they are going to carry out a crime, whether it is robbery or any other type of crime. The best you can do is make sure you've done all you can to try to deter that crime."

Meraz said the credit union does have security guards, but they had not been scheduled to come in daily.

Thursday's robbery has made him change that policy. Now, customers will see them each time they visit the credit union.

The suspect is described as a white man about 5'7" tall with a slender build. He was wearing a hooded light grey sweatshirt and mirrored sunglasses with black cloth over his face.

If you know anything about him, call Lawton Crimestoppers at 580-355-INFO or the FBI at 405-290-7770.

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