A Eugene man is in jail after police say he robbed a Roseburg bank Thursday afternoon.

At approximately 2 p.m., reports of an ongoing robbery at First Interstate Bank, in the 700 block of Northwest Garden Valley Boulevard, Roseburg, began flooding into the dispatch center. By the time officers arrived, the suspect had left in a vehicle, according to witnesses.

Descriptions of the suspect and vehicle were broadcast to all law enforcement on duty in Douglas County.

Soon afterward, troopers from the Oregon State Police located a vehicle matching the description heading northbound on Interstate 5 and pulled it over. The driver, Dannie Kay Alston, 60, of Eugene, was confirmed to be the robbery suspect upon investigation, according to a press release.

A sign reading “office temporarily closed” was posted outside the bank while police were inside investigating the robbery, interviewing employees and witnesses.

Debbie Lancaster of Roseburg was inside the bank around 2 p.m. when the robbery happened.

“I was just doing business, working with the teller,” she said. “A guy came up, shoved me and said, ‘Get out of the way.’”

Lancaster said the man said, “I want your big bills, all of them.”

She said the bank employee put an unknown amount of money in a bank bag and gave it to the subject.

“I was just stunned,” Lancaster said. “I was afraid he had a gun, so I didn’t move.”

Lancaster said the robbery suspect warned bank employees not to trigger any bank alarms.

Tracy Vandolah of Sutherlin was listening to the police scanner when she heard about the bank robbery.

“I listened to it for a bit but then I went to get a soda and when I got down to Driftwood Market they were making the stop,” Vandolah said.

She said she counted 11 law enforcement vehicles spread out from the corner of Calapooia Street and Southwest Valentine Avenue in Sutherlin to the shopping mall to the north.

She reported seeing two Caucasian males in handcuffs standing next to a dark blue van around 2:45 p.m. All the doors of the van were open.

One of the males, she said, was a skinny older man with white gray hair and the other was middle aged with graying brown hair. Both wore baseball caps.

Police later arrested Alston on suspicion of third-degree robbery and first-degree theft. He was lodged at Douglas County Jail in lieu of $100,000 bail. The investigation is ongoing, according to police.

Reporter Emily Hoard can be reached at 541-957-4217 or ehoard@nrtoday.com. Or follow her on Twitter @hoard_emily.

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Outdoors and Natural Resources Reporter

Emily Hoard is the business, outdoors and natural resources reporter for The News-Review. She can be reached at 541-957-4217 or by email at ehoard@nrtoday.com. Follow her on Twitter @hoard_emily.

(1) comment

just me

debbie lancaster allegedly said "I was just doing business, working with the teller," she said. "A guy came up, shoved me and said, 'Get out of the way.'"

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