Published Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2009 | 9:47 a.m.
Updated Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2009 | 2:54 p.m.
A bank was robbed this morning in downtown Las Vegas and the robber left behind a suspicious package, prompting an evacuation.
Las Vegas Fire & Rescue determined the small package was a hoax, spokesman Tim Szymanski said.
At 9:06 a.m. the FBI received a report of a bank robbery or attempted bank robbery at the Nevada State Bank branch at 230 S. Las Vegas Blvd., said Special Agent Aida Reyes of the Las Vegas field office.
The robber, described as a black man in his 30s, about 6-foot-1, weighing 160 to 180 pounds and wearing a cap and dark clothing, left with an undisclosed amount of money, Reyes said. It wasn’t disclosed whether he was armed.
The man approached one teller and implied it was a robbery, but “at this point we don’t know if there were any verbal demands,” Reyes said. “He left a package and he walked out on foot.” She said he left the package on the teller’s counter.
The fire department, which responded at 9:19 a.m., used a robot to search the suspicious package, Szymanski said.
Investigators are reviewing surveillance video. An image of the suspect was released this morning, showing him wearing a "Notre Dame" jacket with a Fighting Irish logo on the front.
The bank and some surrounding businesses were evacuated and nearby streets, which included parts of Fourth Street and a section of Las Vegas Boulevard, were closed to vehicle traffic. All streets have since been reopened.
The nearby U.S. federal courthouse wasn't evacuated.
Metro Police armor and canine units were assisting with the investigation of the suspicious package. The FBI wouldn’t disclose details about the size or type of package, saying the investigation was ongoing.
This is the 70th robbery or attempted bank robbery this year in Las Vegas. Last year that number was 76, Reyes said.