A gunman wielding a semiautomatic assault weapon ambushed two unarmed security guards and a cashier Wednesday at Children's Hospital and Health Center, police said, making off with almost $400,000, most of it in checks.
No one was injured.
Police said the gunman, wearing a red and white mask, hid in the bushes outside the Frost Street hospital shortly after 4 p.m., where he waited for the guards and the hospital's lead cashier to pass by with the day's receipts, which they were carrying from a truck to the main office of the hospital.
When the three approached with a cash box and a bank deposit bag, the man stepped from the bushes and ordered the guards to put the bag back into the truck, police said. He then fled with the money and the truck, heading east on Frost Street.
The truck, a white Chevrolet pickup with the words Children's Hospital on the side, was recovered an hour later on Berger Avenue, about a block from the hospital, said Sharon Ross, a hospital spokeswoman. A stocking mask was found inside, she said.
No shots were fired, and no one was injured in the robbery, the first for the 35-year-old hospital, Ross said.
The money included payments from individuals and insurance companies, but only $1,000 to $5,000 of it was in cash, she said. The checks and cash, which had been brought from a nearby administrative center, were to be placed in the hospital safe and later taken to a bank by armored truck. The transfer is part of the daily routine of the hospital, Ross said.
"With any luck, hopefully we will recoup those (checks) and get them back. They won't do him any good," she said. "We will go back to the payer and ask them to stop payment on the check and reissue another."
The robber did not take the cash box, which held $1,000.