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UPDATE: United Community Bank Robbed in Blowing Rock, Security Camera Photos of Suspect Released

Photos by Ken Ketchie

By Nathan Ham

The search for a bank robbery suspect is ongoing after the United Community Bank in Blowing Rock was robbed around 10 a.m. Tuesday morning. 

No details have been provided by the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office or the Blowing Rock Police Department, however according to a social media post, Appalachian State campus police reports that the suspect is a white male wearing a dark blue shirt, blue jeans and a cowboy hat. The suspect is believed to be armed with a handgun and left the scene on foot in an unknown direction of travel. Police officers are currently searching for the suspect.

According to Garrett Price, the Director of Communications for Watauga County Schools, Blowing Rock School was placed on a “soft lockdown” at approximately 10:30 a.m. after the Blowing Rock Police Department informed the school about the search for the robbery suspect. The “soft lockdown” means that students and staff will stay inside the school and the school day will proceed as any regular school day.

“This is a precautionary lockdown that we do out of an abundance of caution just to be 100 percent sure in our safety procedures,” Price said. 

Price also stated that Student Resource Officer Lance Dotson is currently at the school. 

Afterschool activities and parent pickup procedures will go on as normal, according to Price. 

More details will be provided as they are made available. 

UPDATE 12:30 p.m.

High Country Crime Stoppers and Blowing Rock Police seek the public’s assistance in solving the following crime:

On September 11, 2018, at approximately 10:00 AM, a white male entered United Community Bank – 8036 Valley Boulevard, Blowing Rock, and demanded money. The subject had a handgun visible. He left on foot traveling west towards Ransom Street. He may have had a vehicle waiting in this area. An undisclosed amount of cash was taken during the robbery. Photos of the subject are attached. If you see this subject, contact 911 or your local law enforcement agency. Do not approach the subject.    

Anyone with information on this crime or any other crime is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 828-268-6959 / 828-737-0125 or the Blowing Rock Police Department at 828-295-5210. You may also submit a Crime Stoppers Tip via our website at https://www.tipsubmit.com/webtips.aspx?AgencyID=1251 or Text “NCTIP plus your tip” to 274637 (CRIMES). All information will be kept confidential.

High Country Crime Stoppers pays rewards for information, which leads to arrests; recovery of stolen property; seizure of drugs and the location of wanted persons.