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Red-Handed Suspect Sought in Outer State Street Bank Robbery

Police search areas along creek bed near Hope Avenue north of State Street

Authorities hunted Thursday afternoon for a suspect in a robbery at Bank of America, 3790 State St. If captured, police say, the man most likely will be red-handed after a dye pack exploded in the bag of stolen money he apparently got away with.

According to Santa Barbara police Lt. Paul McCaffery, authorities received a report of a fight between two or three people in front of 3780 State St. about 1:10 p.m. Thursday. Moments later, an alarm company reported a robbery at the nearby Bank of America. One of the people involved in the fight appears to be the bank heist suspect, McCaffery said. It is not known if the suspect was armed, he said.

McCaffery described the suspect as a Hispanic male, 5-foot-8 with a heavy build, and wearing camouflage pants and a blue windbreaker. He said the man has red dye on his hands, apparently from an exploding dye pack.

The suspect reportedly fled north through the parking lot behind the bank, and was last reported as traveling on foot up a creek bed adjacent to Hope Avenue. Santa Barbara police have swarmed the area and a Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department Air Patrol unit assisted with the search.

The bank robbery is under investigation, McCaffery said, and the FBI has been notified. Further information will be released when available.

The same bank was robbed in January and late May. Robert Haig Royal, 33, was arrested as a suspect in the January case.

Noozhawk publisher Bill Macfadyen can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.

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