The middle-aged man with dark hair and a receding hairline walked into the lobby of First Financial Bank in Stephenville late Friday afternoon, milled around for a bit, then left.

He returned about 30 to 45 minutes later.

But this time, he approached a teller, and handed him a “threatening” note demanding cash. The teller kept his composure and did as he was trained to do. The man, who had just become a bank robber, turned calmly around and fled on foot with the money he had stolen.

The bank’s surveillance cameras caught the entire episode on tape. Law enforcement officials have released pictures of the suspect and a manhunt is under way, Stephenville Police Chief Roy Halsell said.

“We are in the process of interviewing witnesses, lifting fingerprints, and reviewing the tapes that yielded excellent pictures,” Halsell said late Friday night.

The pictures of the suspect were released to various news media with the hope that someone will recognize him.

FFB President Ron Mullins said he was traveling back from Abilene when he got word of the robbery. Though the incident left his staff shaken, he said, “Everyone is doing fine. No one got hurt.”

Mullins praised his team, saying the teller and others “handled the situation as they were trained to do.”

“They did everything by the book,” Mullins said.

Mullins said the robber got away with “a minimal amount of cash.”

Anyone with information about the case or who recognizes the suspect should call the police at (254) 918-1273.

Sara Vanden Berge covers courts, law enforcement, and business and political issues for the Empire-Tribune. She can be reached at Her work number is 968-2379, ext. 240.