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Posted: Wednesday, December 5, 2001 12:00 am

Around the Valley

weslaco

Four armed men rob

Texas State Bank branch

At least four armed men held up the Texas State Bank branch, 2301 W.

Expressway 83, at about 2:45 p.m. Tuesday.

Four men stormed the bank with handguns, shotguns and automatic weapons. They

spoke in English and ordered about 15 bank employees and a handful of bank

customers to lie on the floor, witnesses told police. After the robbers took

an undetermined amount of cash, the group left in a blue Chevrolet Suburban

and headed east on the Expressway frontage road.

Witnesses said there were four to seven robbers dressed in black, wearing

gloves and ski masks. No one was injured in the robbery. The bank alarm was

not sounded until after the robbers fled, said Weslaco police spokesman David

Molina.

The Suburban was found abandoned at a convenience store near Mile 6 West Road

and Mile 9 North Road, Molina said. Witnesses in the area told police they saw

the men leave the Suburban and get into a white Mercury Grand Marquis or Ford

Crown Victoria. The robbers were last seen driving west on Mile 9 Road.

Anyone having information about the bank robbery or the identities of the

robbers may call Weslaco CrimeStoppers at 968-TIPS. If the information leads

to the arrest and indictment of a suspect, the caller may be eligible for a

reward of up to $1,000. The caller may remain anonymous.

Two-car wreck produces few injuries

Three women and an infant in two cars escaped serious injuries in a Tuesday

two-car accident.

Maria Francisca Leja was driving a 1994 Chevrolet Corsica eastbound on

Expressway 83 just before noon when she attempted to pass a black 2001 Ford

Mustang driven by Amanda Garza Gutierrez just as Leja attempted to exit onto

Mile 2 East Road, Mercedes Police Capt. Shawn McDuffie said. Lejas car

clipped the front left corner of the Mustang, causing her car to roll down the

embankment and across the frontage road and land on its side in a ditch.

Leja received only a scratch on her arm, Patrol Sgt. John Vega said. She was

treated by a paramedic at the scene. Police were unable to provide ages or

addresses for any of the people in either car.

A woman with an infant accompanied Gutierrez in the Mustang. All women in both

cars were wearing seatbelts and the baby was strapped into a child safety

seat.

Helpful shrimper hospitalized

A man was transported to Valley Regional Medical Center late Monday afternoon

after a rope struck him.

U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Ed Rutherford said that a shrimp boat by the

name Maria Isabel ran aground at about 5 p.m. Another shrimp boat attempted to

pull the stuck boat one mile east of the Port Isabel cut-off channel.

The lines snapped and it came around the boat, and it hit one of the guys on

the boat in the neck, Rutherford said.

The man was transported by boat to the South Point Marina, where an ambulance

was waiting for him. He was transported to the hospital by South Padre Island

EMS.

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