Altoona police were still searching late Saturday for an unidentified man accused of robbing the Citizens Bank at 2035 Broad Ave.
Police said the robber, whose face was hidden behind a baseball cap in surveillance images, entered the bank at 10:42 a.m. and told a teller he had a gun.
He allegedly escaped with money, though police haven't said how much he took. The man fled toward the Jaffa Shrine Center, officers said in an online post.
Apparently concealed among the stolen bills was a dye pack, used to trace stolen money and identify thieves. Officers said the dye pack exploded, likely leaving the alleged robber and his money coated in red coloring.
Within hours of the robbery, police warned businesses not to accept red-stained money. Anyone who receives reddened money should call 911 immediately, they said.
At least one business reported receiving possibly dyed cash: The Hollidaysburg Wine & Spirits store, located in the Hollidaysburg Plaza in Blair Township, received suspicious red money and contacted police, an employee said.
Blair Township officers arrived, took the money and returned it shortly afterward, said the employee, who declined to give his name. Because employees noticed the money after its user had left, they couldn't hold him for police.
Altoona police declined to provide further information, citing concerns that publishing details could tip off the robber.