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11/3/06-Henderson

Two Armed Men Robbed Bank

Two armed men are still on the loose after robbing an East Texas bank in broad daylight. Police say it happened around 11 o'clock at the Bank of America on South Main Street in Henderson. Police are asking for the public's help finding the two men who police say may have robbed the bank last year, too.

Two robberies at the same bank in little over a year, and police say it was practically the same Method of Operation.

"I heard shots and it was enough to make me duck...the lady said 'it's happening again' and she said 'we're shutting down' and I knew what she meant," says Karen Smith.

That's because not only was Karen Smith at the bank's drive-thru when Friday's robbery happened, but she says she had just stopped by after last year's robbery, too. 

"It's very much the same MO," says William Brown, criminal investigator for the Rusk County District Attorney's Office.

Investigators say two masked men entered the bank, one carrying a pistol, the other an assault rifle.

"At gunpoint, telling them to hit the floor," Brown says.

Police say that's when one of the men jumped over the counter and grabbed money. 

Brown says, "they left in a white van, GMC van, that was later found abandoned at the Brookshire's Grocery store."

Police say they got away in another vehicle described as a white Oldsmobile sedan or Buick-style car.

These are two robberies that have the town of Henderson pretty shook up. 

"It's frightening to me, it really scares me because we've never had robberies in Henderson in broad daylight," says Henderson resident Barbara Read.

"You can see it on TV all the time, but when it's right here it's a shock, you don't know what to think anymore," says Judy Cates, another Henderson resident.

And until the two armed men are caught, folks say they won't be sleeping easy.

The men were last seen heading West on Highway 13, toward Tyler. Police say no one was hurt in the robbery. There is a reward being offered in this case.

Tracy Watler/Reporting: tracy@kltv.com.

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