Robbers Target Bank Branch
Surrounding businesses begin to take more precautions.
Florissant or the Wild West? Customers of at least one local bank branch may well ask the question. Robbers have targeted Commerce Bank, 8190 N. Lindbergh, three times since July 29.
Florissant police have a suspect in two of the three Commerce robberies. In the incident on Sept. 15, a bank customer took the law in his or her own hands, keeping the man at the scene until officers arrived to make the arrest.
Regions Bank, 1100 Shackelford Road, was the target of a robbery on Nov. 4. Police arrested 53-year-old Alicia Johnson in the case. This bank is only 2.6 miles from the Commerce branch targeted previously.
Florissant Police Department Public Information Officer Kevin Boschert said he doesn't know what's behind the string of robberies in the area. He speculated that desperate economic times could be part of the explanation.
"We're trying to push the prevention key," Boschert said, describing increased security at the banks.
Commerce Bank declined to comment about the robberies or its security procedures. The owners of surrounding businesses told Florissant Patch they're on the alert but not overly worried.
Sarah Nicholl is a manager at The Tan Company, which sits directly behind the bank,
"On a daily basis, I don't worry about it," she said, admitting she does work with a sense of caution and locked the store as police arrived on the scene after one of the robberies.
"I do pay attention to people walking by," she said. "I think I'm cautious."
Next door at Papa Murphy's Take-and-Bake Pizza, assistant manager Jason Nord said it's nothing that he hasn't seen in his 27 years living in Florissant. But manager Dhari Pearson had a different take.
"It definitely makes you a little nervous," she said. "It makes you realize that the neighborhood is not as safe as it's made to see. You always have to realize that you're vulnerable to that situation."