SOUTH CHINA — A man armed with a handgun robbed Border Trust Co. on Route 3 at 10:32 a.m. today, pedaled a short distance on a bicycle and jumped into a white pickup driven by an accomplice and sped away.

Police described the light-haired, light-eyed white male as between 5 feet, 10 inches and 6 feet tall, weighing 170 pounds, and wearing jeans, a brown Carhartt jacket and a dark ski mask that he pulled up over his nose and mouth.

Capt. Dan Davies of the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office said the man showed a teller at the bank a gun and demanded money. He fled out the front door with an undisclosed amount from the three tellers.

Davies said none of the tellers were injured, but that they were shaken by the incident.

There were no customers in the bank, said Davies. He estimated the armed robber was in the bank for a couple of minutes.

Deputies were on scene at 368 Route 3 two minutes after the robbery was reported, Davies said.

Brian Cloutier, who lives nearby, said he saw a man wearing a ski mask pedaling a bicycle north on Jones Brook Crossing toward Village Street. Cloutier said the man ditched the bike and was picked up by someone driving a white pickup truck.

Kennebec County Sheriff’s Cpl. G.J. Neagle and his dog Gib searched behind the bank and found a bike in a ditch.

Davies said sheriff’s office patrol units, personnel with the department’s Major Crimes Unit, the dog team and several Maine State Police troopers responded to the robbery, and crime scene tape was stretched across the front parking lot and across the drive-through exit.

Several customers pulled up to the closed bank, as did a Brinks truck driver who got of his truck with a money bag but after talking with police, he returned to the truck.

Border Trust Co. is directly across the road from Family Dollar and adjacent to the post office and Back’s Dairy Bar.

Davies said that Border Trust technology personnel were reviewing the bank’s surveillance video.

Since last summer, there have been a series of banks and credit union robberies in central Maine.

In late July, the Down East Credit Union was robbed in Unity. In August, the Winslow Community Federal Credit Union was hit.

Since September, there have been three such robberies in Waterville: Healthfirst Federal Credit Union was robbed in September, and Bank of America and Waterville Savings Bank were robbed within 48 hours of each other in November.

As of Friday afternoon, one arrest had been made in the robberies — William Bruce Adamchak, 48, of Western Avenue, Waterville, was caught almost immediately after the Nov. 7 holdup of Bank of America on Main Street. A Kennebec County grand jury later indicted Adamchak on robbery and terrorizing charges.

Davies cited the economy, the time of the year, and rampant drug addiction as driving forces behind the robberies. Davies said he is confident that the people involved in Friday’s robbery will be identified and prosecuted.

He asked anyone who has information on the robbery to call the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit at 623-3614, ext. 215.

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