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PNC Bank clerk outsmarts would-be-robber, escapes with co-worker in Lilburn

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A Lilburn clerk’s quick thinking ensured the safety of her co-worker and thwarted a would-be-bank robber Monday afternoon, officials said.

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The incident happened shortly before 1 p.m. at the PNC Bank at 4014 Lawrenceville Hwy., according to Lilburn police. The man entered the bank and identified himself to the teller as “Seth” from “Cali,” telling her that he wanted to open an account, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. But then he handed the teller a portfolio and threatened that if she did not stuff it with $2,000, it “would not be good for her,” according to police.

The teller told him that she would have to get the cash for him and left with the pretext of obtaining the money, but instead the quick-thinking clerk locked herself and her co-worker inside the money vault, police spokesman Capt. Thom Bardugon said. They called the bank’s security company, which called 911, the AJC reported.

It's unclear how long the man waited before he realized the clerk would not return. He fled before officers arrived, Bardugon said. On Tuesday police released photographs of the suspect, hoping someone would be able to help identify him.

The cameras also captured the man as he waited for several minutes for the tellers to return before leaving and walking calmly toward an I-HOP restaurant, Capt. Bardugon told the paper. It’s unclear if any customers were in the branch at the time.

Still, police said the tellers should have called 911 first, the paper reported. If the tellers had called 911 first, Lilburn police who were only a short distance away, might have responded in time to make an arrest, Bardugon said.

Police are asking anyone with any information on the attempted robbery or the suspect to call Investigator Cody Belcher at (404) 516-0657.