Four men allegedly robbed the in the Strawberry Village shopping center Thursday morning in a takeover-style heist that saw them ditch one getaway car and take off in another.
In a plot that Marin County Sheriff’s Lt. Barry Heying said matched several other bank robberies throughout the Bay Area in recent months, two black men wearing hooded sweatshirts and masks over their faces stormed the bank at 800 Redwood Frontage Road.
The pair contained all of the branch’s employees behind the counter, Heying said, but there were no customers inside the branch at the time of the incident and no injuries were reported. The suspects never brandished a weapon, Heying said, although one of the men kept his hand in his pocket.
"We always have to assume they were unless we absolutely know otherwise," Heying said.
Heying said the two men looted the bank’s safe of an undisclosed amount of cash before fleeing in a 1996 black Ford Explorer being driven by one of the two getaway drivers. The trio then ditched the Explorer on the 100 block of Richardson Drive in Strawberry and joined the fourth man in a waiting white sedan believed to be either a Honda or Acura. They took off in an unknown direction, according to reports from witnesses in the area.
Police determined that the Explorer had been stolen in Richmond earlier in the day.
The robbery was reported just before 11 a.m. All four men were described by witnesses as black men in their late 20s wearing hooded sweatshirts with masks over their faces. The two men who entered the branch were described as 6-feet, 4-inches tall with a muscular build and 5-feet, 6-inches tall with a medium build, respectively.
The Union Bank branch in Strawberry Village opened in January, celebrating its grand opening on Jan. 27. It was the second Mill Valley branch for San Francisc-based Union Bancorp, which bought the assets of the failed Tamalpais Bank in April 2010 and took over its seven Marin branches, including the one at 453 Miller Avenue.
Anyone with information about this crime should call Sheriff’s Detectives at 415-499-7265, or remain anonymous and possibly receive a cash reward by calling Bay Area Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS or bayareacrimestoppers.org.