NEW: Bank Heist Suspect Escapes

HPD Assisting In Search

Posted: December 30, 2013

HARRISONBURG — The 16-year-old boy charged with robbing a BB&T Bank branch in Harrisonburg last summer has escaped from a juvenile facility in Staunton, according to a release today from the Harrisonburg Police Department.

The teen, Rosel Guillen-Mendez, escaped from the facility on Sunday at about 6 p.m., according to the release from the HPD, which is assisting other law-enforcement agencies in the search for the suspect.

The release did not identify the facility from which Guillen-Mendez escaped.

Guillen-Mendez, who was charged as an adult in the July 1 holdup at the BB&T branch at 1900 S. High Street, is described as a Hispanic male with a medium complexion, approximately 6 feet tall, and 200 pounds. He also has a tattoo of the word “Mendez” on his right forearm.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call Harrisonburg Crime Solvers at 540-574-5050. Tipsters may also text “HPD” plus the tip to CRIMES (274637), or call the Central Shenandoah Crime Stoppers at 1-800-322-2017.

Guillen-Mendez, who police say confessed to the bank holdup, was awaiting trial on felony robbery at the time of his escape. He also faces three other charges related to the bank heist: Use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, entering a bank to commit larceny, and wearing a mask in public.

Police say the teen entered the bank on the afternoon of July 1, displayed a handgun and demanded money. The robber disguised his face and wore heavy gloves during the robbery.  He fled on foot with an undisclosed amount of cash, according to police.

Guillen-Mendez was arrested July 3, the same day SWAT teams raided a mobile home in a trailer park just outside Harrisonburg. The trailer park is about a mile from the bank.

The Daily News-Record will have more on this story as details become available.



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