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Emmaus Police Respond to Robbery at Sovereign Bank

Police, dogs and a helicopter are searching for a suspect.

Police dogs and a search helicopter were deployed this morning for a manhunt in connection to a bank robbery at , 1215 Chestnut St, Emmaus.

Police are searching for a man wearing a black T-shirt and grey sweatpants. He is suspected of robbing the bank with a silver, semi-automatic handgun.

Police did not disclose how much money was taken.

Reports also indicated that police and SWAT teams surrounded a cornfield along Lower Macungie and Riverbend Roads.

Police acted on a call after the robbery about a white man in a black T-shirt who was seen running through the cornfield.

"He did not look like a farmer," the caller said.

Police also searched the apartment complex behind the bank and across from Emmaus High School.

was put on lockdown and the summer school students were kept inside until the area was cleared.

At the bank, yellow crime-scene tape surrounds the scene. After the robbery, officers interviewed employees inside the bank.

One Sovereign employee was allowed to leave just long enough to give a hug to her mother, who had parked her car in the lot, waiting to get word from her daughter.

There have been no reports that anyone had been hurt.

The Lehigh County Communications Center confirmed the call came in at 10:30 a.m. That was about the time when David Gross, manager of the in the East Penn Plaza Shopping Center, was dropping off his morning deposit at the bank.

Gross said the door to the bank was locked, and the manager waived him off from inside. As Gross walked back to the Smoke Shop, Emmaus police arrived with guns drawn.

The bank has been closed since and was being used as the command post.

K9 units from Emmaus and Allentown were deployed in the effort to catch the robber. Salisbury Police, State Police and many other area municipalities were also called in for help.

The same Sovereign Bank on July 2, 2010. And today's call comes seven months after the on Main Street in Emmaus that involved a shoot-out with police.

The held a press conference in the parking lot of Emmaus High School at 3:30 p.m., and confirmed that the robber got away with some money. The suspect remains at large.

Donna Hosfeld July 14, 2011 at 03:48 PM
Here we go again. I hate when our little town changes like this...
Eve Damiano July 14, 2011 at 04:01 PM
They released our kids from football practice early because of this....shouldn't they have kept them safe where they were. It happened just down the street from EHS!
Eve Damiano July 14, 2011 at 04:02 PM
OK, just heard that our kids are safe at the school and they can't leave for now. Thank GOD!!
Paula Wittman July 14, 2011 at 04:11 PM
Yes, as Troia mentioned, there were lots of other departments besides Emmaus that assisted! They should have been recognized. We were just driving on Cedar Crest when they all flew passed us...Emmaus, Macungie, Upper Saucon, state police, and Salisbury...there may have been others, but those are who we saw on their way to Lower Macungie Rd.
voice of reason July 14, 2011 at 06:26 PM
is it really a "possible" robbery?
Jerry Brahm (Editor) July 14, 2011 at 06:48 PM
Well, it could be an attempted robbery or a robbery. Until the police confirm money was actually taken, we don't really know. So, it's possible.
Patricia Ziegler-Boccadoro July 14, 2011 at 07:17 PM
Allentown was involved as well - their K-9 was helping with the search.
Mom22Boys July 14, 2011 at 07:21 PM
Emmaus has the highest capture rate of any local police department for bank robberies, so these criminals are dumb to keep robbing the banks here. That, and we have an amazingly professional, dedicated, and nationally certified PD.
Sue Snyder July 14, 2011 at 07:24 PM
Really, Troia...your comment regarding Emmaus being the robbery capital of lehigh count is inappropriate. You obviously haven't lived here all your life or you wouldn't be saying ridiculous things like that.
JR July 14, 2011 at 07:54 PM
This is so sad. Another jerk looking for a quick buck. I am glad no one was harmed. I hear sirens now from my back window.
Jerry Brahm (Editor) July 14, 2011 at 07:56 PM
Police confirmed at a press conference that money was taken in what is now officially an armed robbery of Sovereign Bank, 1215 Chestnut St, Emmaus. The amount that was taken was not disclosed.
Jennifer Elston July 14, 2011 at 08:22 PM
Thankfully no one was hurt. Thanks to ALL the officers involved for their help in attempting to nab this thug!!!
Sheriffchris July 14, 2011 at 09:04 PM
This seems to happen quite regularly in Emmaus, WHY ? Hope they catch the bum, we do not want his kind (lawless) in our community !!!
John Franken July 14, 2011 at 11:30 PM
"Emmaus has the highest capture rate of any local police department for bank robberies" Stats please! Show me where they have the highest capture rate for an armed bank robbery. Considering they've only had one recent bank robbery that I can recall, I'd say they are 50/50 at this point since this guy is still currently at large. If I remember correctly, the third suspect in the December bank robbery was captured by Allentown PD. So do me a favor, don't forget to thank PA state troopers, officers with the Allentown, Bethlehem, South Whitehall Township, Salisbury Township, Alburtis, Berks-Lehigh Regional, Coopersburg, Fountain Hill and North Catasauqua police departments, the FBI, the Lehigh County Sheriff's Department and Lehigh County homicide and drug task forces that also assisted Emmaus PD with the processing of the scene, and tracking down the third suspect in that bank robbery. Oh, don't forget to thank the police officers of the four-legged variety who also work their tails off in these type of situations.
B July 15, 2011 at 12:39 AM
This happens a lot in al communities. You just don't realize it or care when it's not in your community.  As yes, Emmaus PD does have a very high incident arrest ratio, which includes many other crimes other than bank robberies.  Why are so many people so damn negative? Be a little grateful that your officers put their life's on the line to keep all of us safe. 
Tweed July 15, 2011 at 12:55 AM
oh please
Robert Sentner July 15, 2011 at 12:58 AM
Amen B...........
Lyle Richardson July 15, 2011 at 01:05 AM
There is a simple solution to this problem, bullet prof windows seperating the tellers from the customers.
Rachel July 15, 2011 at 03:40 AM
I get that there have been two robberies so close together... what I don't get are the comments that seem to have an underlying tone of 'this is all the sudden'. Theft isn't a new thing here. When I called the other day to report my being broken into the office told me that I was one of many calling in that morning b/c someone had gone on a 'shopping spree' throughout the town. It's simply seems it's not talked about. Being unaware doesn't mean it's not happening. I'm thankful for those that serve our community and am grateful for the risks they take so I can live my comfortable life in my little 'dennis the menace' town. But remember, noone is immune to the wrong-doings of others. All we can do if stand together and fight to keep our community as safe and secure as possible.
Nancy O'Keefe July 15, 2011 at 11:26 AM
As long as someone is inserting politics into this.....tax cuts are an easy thing to promise because it gets you elected. It's what people want to hear. Then when public services are cut because the money's not there, they're the first ones to complain that public service employees are not doing their job. Tax cuts could cripple a borough like Emmaus. It just takes a read of the police blotters to see that a cut in the police force is absurd.
Donna Hosfeld July 15, 2011 at 03:02 PM
I'm delighted with the amazing response we have from ALL of our "protectors" in Emmaus AND the surrounding areas. These folks work tirelessly and risk alot to be able to provide us a safe environment. The tenacity and perseverance they've shown to resolve some of these situations is commendable. Thank you, guys and gals! Let's also remember that every citizen can do alot by being vigilant and looking out for one another. If something doesn't "look" or "feel" right, please alert the authorities. We've got to help each other to keep our communities strong!

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