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What you should know if you're in a bank during a robbery

Three robberies have occurred within a week

Latest on the investigations into 3 loca

COACHELLA VALLEY, Calif. - Three bank robberies have occurred within the span of just one week here in the valley -- the Sheriff's Department says they are continuing to work to catch the suspect or suspects responsible.

Police say they're taking a "proactive approach" given the circumstances, increasing patrols at certain local banks.

"We are taking extra steps like placing people in parking lots...to see how the banks are operating to see if there are people in the area," said Deputy Mike Vasquez, public information officer for the Riverside County Sheriff's Department.

Vasquez shared some insight into what you should do in the event of a robbery: staying calm and observing the robber's build, voice, vehicle -- anything to help identify them.

"As a member of the public, we want to remind you guys if you're in a situation like this remain calm. We want you to go with the program, don't confront the individual. We want individuals to write down what they saw be a good witness and take down notes," Vasquez said.

Authorities say in the first bank robbery last Monday at the Wells Fargo near 'the River' in Rancho Mirage, the suspect produced a handgun, and in the second and third robberies in Palm Desert, the suspect slid a note to a bank teller, demanding money.

Vasquez says it's possible that all three robberies are connected.

The suspect in the second robbery was described as a "possible Hispanic male" last seen wearing an orange jumpsuit and wide-brimmed straw hat. He is believed to be between 5 foot 6 inches to 5 foot 8 inches tall and weighing somewhere between 180 to 200 lbs.

In yesterday's robbery, the suspect was described as a man, possibly Hispanic or Caucasian, in his 30s or 40s with an average build, wearing eyeglasses. The suspect was wearing a black hat, dark sweater, white t-shirt, and blue jeans.

Anyone with any additional information is urged to contact the Riverside County Sheriff's Department at 760-836-1600.


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