By Shelby R. King

The Bulletin

Bend police have released photos and a description of the man who robbed the Home Federal Bank in downtown Bend Friday afternoon. The suspect’s description is similar to that of a man police believe is responsible for four other bank robberies between December 2011 and December 2012, though law enforcement officials have not confirmed whether they believe it is the same man.

“This suspect is similar in description and dress, and there are similarities in the manner in which the robbery was carried out,” said Capt. Jim Porter. “We are currently pursuing all investigative leads.”

The suspect is described as a white male adult between 5 feet 6 inches and 5 feet 11 inches, weighing between 230 and 260 pounds, according to police. He was last seen wearing dark pants and a light-colored, hooded sweatshirt, and police believe he fled west on Wall Street.

Around 3:15 p.m. on Friday, officers from the Bend Police Department, Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office, Oregon State Police and FBI responded to the robbery. In July 2012 and December 2012 a man with a similar description to the current suspect robbed the same branch of Home Federal Bank.

Law enforcement officials also believe the same man committed two robberies at a Bank of the Cascades branch near Wal-Mart in southeast Bend in December 2011 and March 2012. During the December 2011 robbery, the man showed a knife to a teller, and then told her he had a gun.

In August, police released a composite drawing of a man they believe is responsible for the four previous robberies. That man is described as heavyset and between 30 and 40 years old.

The suspect in Friday’s robbery was armed with a weapon and had a black cloth covering his face. He fled on foot with an undisclosed sum of money, according to a news release from the Police Department.

Police cordoned off the bank building and searched nearby buildings and alleyways for the suspect Friday afternoon. A Bend police officer with a police dog searched garbage cans and recycling bins behind the Downtown Bend Public Library.

A man was handcuffed around 3:30 p.m. that afternoon and questioned by officers, but was released after about 30 minutes. Police later said he was a person of interest but not a suspect.

Anyone with information about the robbery is asked to call the Bend Police Department at 541-322-2960, or the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office dispatch at 541-693-6911.

— Reporter: 541-383-0376,