WATERVILLE — The bag of money that was stolen from KeyBank on Thursday afternoon during a robbery contained a dye pack that exploded shortly after the robber left the bank, which could mean that the robber, his clothes and the money are stained pink, police said today.

Investigators are trying to figure out whether the incident is connected to other robberies in the central Maine area, according to a statement from Waterville Deputy Chief Charles Rumsey.

Police have released surveillance photos and a more detailed description of the man they say robbed the Kennedy Memorial Drive bank. Police are asking the public for help in identifying the man, who gave a teller a note that demanded money and made a threat, although no weapon was displayed.

After reviewing the surveillance footage, police said the man seemed to be wearing two hats — one darkly colored baseball cap, and one camouflaged winter hat with a fur trim and ear flaps — as well as a long, medium-to-dark colored jacket, “possibly a trenchcoat or duster.”

The man was seen walking up Kennedy Memorial Drive toward the bank from the direction of Waterville’s downtown area. Police are not sure whether he traveled to the bank on foot, or whether he drove to the area of the bank and then walked around before entering the bank at 4:45 p.m.

The man left the bank on foot with an undisclosed amount of cash, triggering a manhunt among nearby commercial buildings and woods. Police dogs were unable to pick up the track, which led police to speculate that the man had escaped the area in a vehicle, according to Rumsey.

Police searched an area that extended to Washington and Lincoln streets, Rumsey said. The scene was cleared at 7:21 p.m., about two and a half hours after police received the initial call.

Rumsey asked those with information related to the case to call police at 680-4700. Detective David Caron is the lead investigator for the case, but if a tip is time-sensitive and urgent, he said, “please ask to speak to a supervisor about the robbery.”

Typically, very few bank robberies happen in Maine, according to Greg Comcowich, special agent and spokesman for the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

In 2012, he said, Maine had just a dozen bank robberies, as compared to more than 5,000 annual bank robberies nationwide in recent years.

Steve McCausland, spokesman for the Department of Public Safety, said Maine doesn’t break out statistics on bank robberies, but that only one or two have happened in Maine in 2013.

When bank robberies do happen in Maine, they almost always result in the arrest of a suspect.

In October, Jamilee Kus, 29, of Waterville pleaded guilty to robbing a TD Bank in South Portland in July.

The Bingham branch of Camden National Bank was robbed in August. Paul Robinson, 40, of Waterville, was arrested the following day and sentenced to eight years in prison in October.

In June, Fairfield resident Glen Harrington, 28, was arrested in Winthrop as he tried to flee from police who spotted him attempting to rob a Bank of Maine branch in Manchester.

In March, William Bruce Adamchak, 49, pleaded guilty to charges relating to the robbery of Waterville’s Bank of America in Nov. 2011.

In December, the Taconnet Federal Credit Union in Skowhegan was robbed by a man who told the teller that he had a friend waiting with a rifle outside the bank. No arrests have been made in that case.

Three years earlier, that same bank was robbed at knifepoint by Paul Garland, a 27-year-old Oakland man who was eventually caught and sentenced to eight years in prison.

Matt Hongoltz-Hetling — 861-9287
[email protected]

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