Misunderstanding triggers extensive police response when customer passes bank teller a note

ST. GEORGE — Multiple police units responded to a credit union on Red Cliffs Drive in St. George Wednesday after two bank employees activated the silent alarm when a man handed one of the tellers a note.

St. George Police respond to America First Credit Union after the silent alarm is activated, St. George, Utah, Nov. 18, 2020 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

A few minutes before noon, nearly a dozen police officers were dispatched to America First Credit Union on Red Cliffs Drive on a possible robbery after the silent alarm was activated twice. While officers were en route to the bank, a lockout order was sent out to several nearby schools advising administrators to lock all entrance doors as a safety precaution in the event a suspect is at large.

St. George Police Officer Tiffany Atkin said the incident was set in motion when a man, who was talking on his cell phone as he entered the bank, walked up to the teller window and, without saying a word, handed the employee a note that stated he had been robbed.

Thinking the note was a demand for money, two bank employees activated the silent alarm, which immediately dispatched multiple police officers to the scene quickly.

As the situation unfolded, officers learned that the man who entered the bank believed he was the victim of a scam and was on the phone with the alleged fraudster when he entered the bank. His goal in going to the credit union was to discuss the issue with a bank employee and to check his account for any suspicious activity.

He was still on that call when he entered the bank, Atkin said, and not wanting the person on the other end to know he was at the credit union to check on his account, he said nothing as he passed the note to the teller that stated he’d been robbed.

Atkin went on to say that the lockout order, which causes little, if any, disruption to school operations and can be easily reversed, was canceled once officers were able to sort everything out.

The scene was cleared a short time later and no injuries were reported.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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