A Beatrice man who robbed Great Western Bank Monday afternoon was quickly arrested by police.
Employees called 911 at around 2:20 p.m. to report the robbery at the bank, located at 10th and Court streets.
Beatrice Police Capt. Gerald Lamkin said a man entered the bank and demanded money from a teller.
“He had left with a small amount of money,” Lamkin said. “A description was provided and officers located a couple individuals who matched the description at different locations matching the general description. Officers had gone to bank, observed the video and confirmed the individual stopped at Ninth and Ella streets was the male that had committed the crime.”
The suspect was identified as 54-year-old Terry Lee Bailes of Beatrice.
Lamkin said Bailes left the bank with less than $100, and was quickly apprehended by police in less than five minutes following the call.
“When the call came to the police department, all officers responded, and I mean all officers responded,” he said. “We were able to flood the area with a great number of officers to apprehend him as soon as we did.”
Lamkin said witnesses described the suspect as a white male wearing dark clothes.
Bank workers said Bailes had his hand in a pocket, but never displayed a weapon. Police do not believe he had a weapon at the time of the robbery.
Lamkin commended the bank workers, and said they handles the situation exactly as they should.
“The way this was handled by employees was phenomenal,” he said. “They did a phenomenal job. They did what they’re trained to do and should do when faced in a terrifying situation such as this. They complied with his demands, secured the facility and notified us right away.”
On the recommendation of Beatrice Police Department school resource officer Tim Price, Beatrice Middle School went into a lockdown for about 10 minutes at 2:25 p.m.
Teachers and staff swept the hallways for students, gathering them into their rooms for a shelter in place lockdown, said BMS Principal John Jarosh.
“We always err on the side of safety,” Jarosh said. “Even not knowing what the total story was, we went ahead and went into a lockdown/lockout.”
Jarosh was in a meeting when the front desk staff came to tell him the situation, he said. He pulled out what he calls “the big red book” full of procedures for various events like tornado drills, bomb threats and active shooter situations.
This isn’t the first time the middle school has gone on lockdown, Jarosh said. A few years ago, during another bank robbery, the school had to do the same, which is why they drill for these sorts of things a couple times each year, he said.
Beatrice Public Schools Superintendent Pat Nauroth praised the school’s response to the situation.
"I think it was precautionary more than anything else," Nauroth said. "They did a great job, and I thought it turned out well."
The lockdown was over within a matter of minutes, according to Jarosh, but he said the school’s staff did an excellent job of keeping everyone safe.
“The teachers were great,” he said. “As I was making the announcement, I could hear doors slamming. Slam, slam, slam. They do a great job here at the middle school.”