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Patten residents react to burglary

PATTEN, Maine — Residents of Patten were still reeling Wednesday morning following police reports that the East Mill Credit Union was robbed.

Lt. Brian Harris of Maine State Police Troop F stated Wednesday that no updates on the robbery were available, nor would he elaborate on the circumstances of the robbery. No photos or video of the alleged robber have been released to the media.

A male suspect entered the East Mill Credit Union Tuesday afternoon, demanded money and then fled on foot. No description of the suspect has been released by police as of Wednesday afternoon.

The bank reopened for business at 11 a.m. Wednesday.

Patten Town Manager Raymond Foss said Wednesday that this was the first bank robbery he was aware of in the town of Patten.

“I don’t think we need to go into panic mode,” Foss said. “I think we are still the same small town that we think we are. Northern Maine is the kind of place where you do want to live and raise a family.”

Foss said he had not spoke with anyone from the Maine State Police regarding the incident but had talked to a couple of residents, who had expressed some concerns. For the most part, however, it was back to business for the community of just under 1,000.

“People need to do what the police are saying and be conscious of what they are doing,” Foss said. “If they see something suspicious, they should report it. I think the expectation in the community is that this crime will be solved.”

Beth Somers of Patten posted on social media that she was shocked and saddened by the events that unfolded Tuesday. Somers has a relative who is employed at the East Mill Credit Union.

“When I think about the bank robbery here in town yesterday, my prayers go out to those girls (who work at the credit union),” she wrote. “I think of all that this man took from them and what people like him take from our community again and again. We are living in a society now where people feel entitled to just go take when a need arises.”

Somers added that the “Christian” thing to do was to pray as a community.

“The power of my prayer is the hope that my niece and her coworkers will have their faith restored, their sense of security restored, and to not feel that every time that door opens and someone comes in that their life is on the line,” Somers wrote.

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