By Mark E. Vogler
---- — LAWRENCE — A local business woman walked into the Eastern Bank at 486 Essex St. early yesterday afternoon with $4,400 in cash, but got robbed at knifepoint before she could make her transaction, according to police.
As Ivette Guzman, owner of Fabulous Boutique at 471 Essex St., stood at the teller window counting her cash, a man wearing a hooded winter jacket walked up to her and waved a silver knife toward her hip while demanding the money, the victim told Officer Kevin M. Schiavone.
When the woman looked at him and said “What,” the man kept repeating “Give me the money,” Schiavone wrote in his report.
“She handed the male all her cash and watched as he walked out the front door, grabbed a bicycle he had left in the ATM/foyer area and walked out the front doors exiting onto Essex St. There was no clear direction of travel,” the officer said.
The bank manager provided investigators with surveillance photos of the suspect, who was seen wearing a gray hooded winter coat, blue jeans and tan work boots. The man had light skin with a 5 o’clock shadow and stood about 5 feet 6 inches to 5 feet 7 inches, according to police.
Video surveillance footage showed the robbery suspect walking up to the victim, poking at her side, reaching for the cash and then fleeing.
A search by city patrol units failed to turn up any suspects. Officer Schiavone noted in his report that “the bank was slow to produce an image of the suspect.”
The incident left the victim “an emotional wreck,” Schiavone noted in his report. Guzman told him “This will ruin my business” and “I just borrowed that money to make a clothing purchase that is coming in today. You don’t know what this will do to me.”