DEL NORTE— On Friday, Dec. 8 the Del Norte Bank was robbed during business hours. At 12:35 p.m. a masked, male individual wearing work gloves, jeans and a black coat came into the lobby and passed a threatening note to the teller on duty.
According to lead Officer Mike Ortega, the note stated that a shooting would occur if the demands were not met. The teller complied and passed an unnamed amount of money to the individual.
Hours after the robbery had occurred Bank President Mike Hurst made the following statement, “We had a male individual come into the bank wearing a mask, a coat and gloves. He passed a note to the teller requesting money. The teller responded appropriately and gave him what he asked for and then he was gone. What we are happy about is that no one was hurt, and the incident was over quickly and quietly. Lots of people have been reaching out and we are happy to confirm everyone is okay.”
Ortega confirmed the reports Saturday morning, stating that they were actively pursuing any leads that were coming into the station and exhausting any suspicious characters passing through the area. “At this point the FBI is working with us and we need the public’s help. We have gone from door to door in neighboring homes and businesses and are now looking at suspects in the area that have been an issue in the past. We are going back over details with people who were either working or doing business in the bank during the robbery and we plan on continuing to cover this until we get some leads,” said Ortega.
The Del Norte Bank has been an active part of the San Luis Valley for 96 years, not only offering financial services to the communities, but also playing a huge role in several local organizations, donations and generously participating in area services.
The Del Norte Police Department and Rio Grande County Sheriff’s office as well as the national Crime Stoppers hotline are actively collecting tips at this time. Anyone with any information, no matter how small, is encouraged to contact any of the following numbers: Del Norte Police 657-2600, Rio Grande County Sheriff 657-4000, Colorado State Patrol, 589-5807 or Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477). The FBI has yet to confirm a reward for information, but one may be available in the future.