Man in gasoline bank robbery told teller to smile in list of demands

Police in Warren have released stunning video of a man who wrapped his face in medical gauze when he robbed a bank by dousing an employee with gasoline.

Warren Police Commissioner Bill Dwyer said the man walked into the Huntington Bank at 10 Mile and Schoenherr Wednesday morning. He struck up a conversation with the employee and said he wanted to open a checking account. 

"She did ask why his face was all bandaged up and he said he was injured," Dwyer said.

After a few minutes of light conversation, Warren police say the man pulled out a duffel bag he had stuffed under his black puffy vest, along with a plastic bottle in his right hand. Then he tossed a note to her family and told her to smile and think of her family. 

The note had a list of demands:

First: if you sound any alarm you will be killed at your doorstep.
Second: Grab the money out the drawer. put it in bag with your car keys
Third: Follow the rules. You'll be safe. Smile.

The woman was sprayed in the face and upper body and ran toward the back of the bank and was sprayed again. She threw the bag to her manager and then locked herself in a back room. 

"Then the manager went to the different drawers and took the money and gave the money in a bag back to him," Dwyer said. "He did plan this out fairly well. he knew exactly what he was going to do." 

The robber grabbed the bag full of $4,000 and ran off on foot. He had a cigarette in his mouth and a lighter in his hand as he ran across 10 Mile. When he passed a gas station, he took the gauze off his face and changed his clothes. Then he left it all in a bag on the ground before hopping a fence and running off.

Warren police said the bank teller is physically okay but is having trouble sleeping and is likely scarred for life.

Police are worried he could strike again. 

"We're also concerned he again could commit another bank robbery, in a similar fashion." 

Police are still searching for the man who they describe as black and between 20 and 30 years old. Aside from the clothes he left behind, he was also wearing gray sweats and a black hoodie.

Huntington Bank is offering a $20,000 reward for his arrest. Warren police are now warning residents, especially those who live near the bank, to keep an eye out for this guy. 

"They may have seen him. They may live near him, they may live next door to him," Dwyer said.