Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Close Calls

That pretty young lady to the right is my daughter Elise, a highly talented ballerina, an A+ student, an award-winning actress and singer, and quite the existentialist workaholic.
Elise Campello
Elise lives in gorgeous Gig Harbor, in Washington state, one of the prettiest, and most charming, and priciest, and safest villages in the Pacific Northwest, about 45 minutes from Seattle.

A couple of months ago Elise and a friend were shopping in one of those huge chic stores that manage to present a tony appearance while being enormous in size. And suddenly, just like in the movies, a masked robber grabs my baby daughter, and throws her to the ground, points a gun to her head and begins screaming about a "hold up and everyone hit the ground."

And people do.

And the robber lets go of Elise and walks towards the counter to grab the cash. And when he does so, Elise crawls into a fitting room, locks the door and using her cell phone calls the police.

And the police have no idea where the store is and ask Elise for an address.


Eventually the robber gets away with his cash (probably not a lot... who the hell uses cash these days anyway?) Why are robbers still robbing stores? If you're so desperate, or such as idiot as to use a gun to rob for cash, then why go after a place with little cash?

So he gets away and although she's pretty freaked out by the whole sequence of events (and as someone who's had a gun pointed to his head not once but twice, and as someone who's been shot at - once in Brooklyn and once in Beirut - I know), she moves on.

Elise also works as a teller in a local Gig Harbor bank while being a full time student - she graduated from High School in three years and already has her Associate Degree and next year will be a junior at the University of Washington.

A couple of weeks ago, an older man approaches her and hands her a note informing my daughter that the bank is being robbed.

Elise hits the silent alarm and (as she's been trained) hands the bank robber the money. Yep... my supercool daughter does not panic and does as ordered, delaying as much as possible.

The bank robber runs away - bummer for the asswipe that Elise had just cleared her drawer of cash a few minutes earlier.

The cops eventually arrive...

The bank (and her dad) decide that Gig Harbor is now part of the 21st century and from now on the bank will have a guard on duty.

Meanwhile, here's the bank robber:
bank robber wanted in Gig Harbor This surveillance photo shows the man who robbed the Key Bank in Gig Harbor on Friday, Nov. 9, 2007.

The suspect is described as a white male, 55-years-old, 6 feet tall with a slender build and long brown hair. He wore glasses, a gray stocking cap, blue jeans and a black pullover jacket with white stripes and cuffs on the collar.

Pierce County Crime Stoppers is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and charges filed in the case. Call (253) 591-5959 if you have information. You can remain anonymous.

Here's a bigger pic of the robber:

image of wanted bank robber

Update: A reader points out that the bank robber looks a lot like Ward Churchill! Now that's funny!

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