Police in Novato and San Rafael are both hunting for bank robbery suspects, and the suspects could be one in the same based on surveillance photos released Monday.
Novato police released photos of a man who robbed the Westamerica Bank branch in Ignacio on Jan. 10, and San Rafael police distributed shots of a man who robbed the Westamerica branch on East Francisco Boulevard on Jan. 4.
In the Novato case, the suspect was described as white, in his 30s, about 5-foot-6 to 5-8 tall and between 160 and 180 pounds, police said. He was wearing a black sweatshirt, black cargo pants, black sunglasses, a black beanie cap and dark shoes.
The man is accused to walking into the bank at 3:39 p.m. and demanding cash. The bank was robbed of an undisclosed amount and the suspect fled on foot. No one was hurt and no weapon was used, police said.
"Based on appearance and similar MO, they appear to be the same suspect, though we are still actively working the case," Novato police Lt. Jennifer Welch said.
San Rafael police said a man who robbed the branch at 1177 Francisco Blvd. at 5:12 p.m. on Jan. 4. Police spokeswoman Margo Rohrbacher said the man walked directly to a teller and demanded money, then fled on foot after receiving the cash.
"No weapon was seen or mentioned," Rohrbacher said.
The San Rafael suspect was described as a white male in his 30s, between 5 feet 6 inches and 6 feet 1 inch, 160 to 200 pounds with a muscular build. He was unshaven with one to two days growth of beard and wearing a black beanie, black sunglasses and a black hooded sweatshirt.
The photos with just the beanie were taken outside the bank prior to the crime and those with the hood up were taken during the robbery.
Anyone with information about the Novato incident is asked to call police at 897-4361. Anyone with information about the San Rafael crime is asked to call 485-3000 or Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477. Callers can remain anonymous. Tips can be made online at www.bayareacrimestoppers.org.