Local Business Owners React to Bank of America Robbery

By: David Coy Email
By: David Coy Email

HARRISONBURG -- Harrisonburg Police are on the hunt for a man who robbed a bank. The stick up happened at the Bank of America on University Blvd. Friday afternoon.

Nearby business owners learned about the robbery through a reverse 911 call. A day care was put on lockdown. One business owner said she took steps to make sure her customers were safe.

Monica O'Neill owns nearby businesses such as Bruster's and O'Neill's Grill. She said she locked all the doors except the main door at her businesses. When she left to get her businesses change, she realized that her bank was the target of the robbery.

"Sure enough I drive in and it's completely surrounded by yellow tape. So I was like -my very first concern was obviously you go there almost everyday and I hope no one was hurt," said O'Neill. "We just kept serving people lunch and we kept it low key as possible."

The reverse 911 call told nearby business owners to keep an eye out and stay alert.

John Rhodes has been employed by Colonial Optical for 25 years. He has only heard of a similar robbery one other time. This time, all the phones in the business started to ring.

"There were three different lines we have in there and and everybody grabbed one and the next thing you know, everyone started talking about it," said Rhodes. "We all kind of walked out front here and started looking out the window just to see if could see anything."

O'Neill made sure no one suspicious came in to her businesses.

"The kids tease me about it but I am always guarding the doors and making sure every time I walk by through the kitchen, I check to see if the back door is locked," said O'Neill.

Other business owners said they didn't want alarm any of their customers. They made sure all of their security equipment worked.

Police are still investigating the robbery and would like your help. If you have information, call Crime Solvers at 540-574-5050.

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