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Benchmark Bank robbed

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The man behind Friday morning's Central Austin bank robbery, according to investigators, is the same serial bandit who has hit other banks in Austin and San Antonio.

Detectives at APD headquarters feel like they are closing in on this serial bank robber. But Friday morning was an example of how he continues to stay one step ahead.

Austin police quickly closed off the parking lot to the Benchmark Bank shortly after the morning alarm went off. While detectives were inside speaking to the employees, who were tied up, K-9 units were outside on the hunt along 35th Street for the suspect.

"They're canvassing the area looking for any witnesses that may have seen anything and also checking for video surveillance from the bank or surrounding businesses to see what they can find out from that," APD Cpl. David Boyd said.

Before the bank robber slipped out the back door and disappeared into the Medical Center Complex his image was captured by bank surveillance cameras. It appears as if he was wearing an oxygen mask. Investigators believe he was trying to conceal his face because his picture has been taken before.

Thursday, APD released pictures of a San Antonio bank robber. The clear close up images were used to link the man to two other Austin hold ups.

The local cases took place in May at Prosperity Bank's Research Blvd. branch on the 3rd and at Northstar Bank on the 31st.

That Northstar location is located just across the street from Benchmark Bank, which was robbed Friday morning.

The suspect is described as being a white man in his 40's or 50's. He was last seen wearing a denim shirt with a white undershirt and khakis or green pans.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact police.

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