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Novato Police Investigate Robbery at Chase Bank

Photo taken from surveillance video of a robber who held up a CitiBank on 1004 Northgate Drive in the city's Terra Linda neighborhood today at about 11:07 a.m. Credit: San Rafael Police Department
Photo taken from surveillance video of a robber who held up a CitiBank on 1004 Northgate Drive in the city's Terra Linda neighborhood today at about 11:07 a.m. Credit: San Rafael Police Department
Posted 12pm Thursday

Novato Police are investigating a robbery that occurred at Chase Bank at 1595 Grant Avenue on Thursday morning just minutes after the bank opened.

Police say a man walked into the branch and demanded cash from a teller at around 9:05am. He then fled on foot and has not yet been located.

The suspect is described as a white male, between 40 and 50 years of age, between 5’7”-5’10”, medium build, unshaven, and wearing black hat, black jacket, and black pants.

Amounts taken are never disclosed by the police in order to dissuade future robberies. 

Police believe the suspect is the “Cotton Ball Bandit," so named because of the pom-pom ball atop the brown knit hat with earflaps he’s worn during most of his robberies. He has hit 10 Marin County banks since last December, including two in Marin and one in San Anselmo.

The robber in Thursday's incident was unarmed and no injuries were reported, authorities said. Nearly all of his robberies have occurred in the 9 a.m. hour. Most have been on Wednesdays.

The incident is the first tied to the Cotton Bandit since he robbed a Terra Linda Wells Fargo Bank on 600 Las Galinas Avenue on Oct. 30.

Last month, Umpqua Bank, also located on Grant Avenue, was robbed when another suspect walked in and demanded cash. He was apprehended soon after.

Anyone with information regarding Thursday's incident is encouraged to contact the Novato Police Department, Detective Justin Stevenson at (415) 897-4361. 

Gideon Rubin contributed reporting.

Have a news tip for Novato Patch? Drop Local Editor Karina Ioffee a line at karina@patch.com. 

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Bob Wang November 22, 2013 at 12:01 AM
PD should check with the Starbucks across the street, he was probably panhandling and buying a latte while he waited for the bank to open.
Novato Camper November 22, 2013 at 01:06 PM
Mr Wang, Where is Starbucks across the street. What are you reading
Sweet Marsha November 22, 2013 at 09:29 PM
San Rafael has a Bank Robbery and in Fifteen minutes the picture of the crook is on the streets . A Novato Bank gets hit and an old picture is posted and we will see Nothing until he is caught and then the picture comes from the Sheriffs office and the Booking Log . Whats up with that ? I would say he lives in Novato as took Ten banks to get to this town and a change of clothes

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