FSB Bank Robbery1

The Fremont Police Department is investigating an armed robbery that took place at First State Bank, located at 1965 East Military Avenue, on Wednesday morning.

Banking officials briefly discussed measures in place to help keep employees and customers safe after a local bank was robbed on Wednesday morning.

Law enforcement officials said an armed robbery occurred at the First State Bank and Trust branch, 1965 E. Military Ave.

The Nebraska State Patrol confirmed that three suspects are in custody in Douglas County after a pursuit.

Cindy Slykhuis, vice president-marketing for First State Bank and Trust, said the Parkview branch would reopen on Thursday and expressed appreciation for the community’s concern and support.

“We are always looking at the best ways to keep our staff and customers safe,” she added.

Local banks take various measures to help ensure the safety of employees and clients.

Recently, Pinnacle Bank installed what’s called a secure access at all three of its Fremont locations, said Sharon Carlson, senior vice president at the local bank.

“This requires everyone to be buzzed into the lobbies,” she said.

While an outside door is open, the inside door is secure and there’s an option to lock the outside door.

The bank has protocols.

“We have procedures in place for all of our opening and closing tellers to protect them and all employees are given the authority to call the police when suspicious activities are occurring,” she said.

Kevin Langin, senior director for public relations for First National Bank of Omaha and Fremont, said those banks have a program in place, too.

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“All banks in the area work closely with law enforcement to monitor the threat level — what’s going on in the area relative to bank robberies and other potential crimes that financial institutions have to deal with,” Langin said. “Based on that, we have a comprehensive safety and security program in place and those procedures are continually updated as potential threats warrant.”

Bank employees are advised to be vigilant and keep an eye out for suspicious individuals and activity.

“We encourage employees to be observant of their surroundings and to know what’s not normal activity,” Carlson said.

Employees who notice cars in the parking lots or people hanging around without a business purpose are encouraged to call police and allow them to investigate.

Customers can help by removing sunglasses and hats when they enter bank branches, which lets employees know these individuals are not suspicious, Carlson said.

Bank customers also can help by being observant.

“In today’s world I think it’s important for all of us to really be aware of the environment and that’s true whether it’s a bank or another retail location — to be aware of your surroundings and if there is a potential threat,” Langin said.

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News Editor

Tammy Real-McKeighan is news editor of the Fremont Tribune. She covers news, features, religion stories and writes the weekly faith-based, Spiritual Spinach column.

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