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Guadalupe police arrest man after attempted bank robbery, high-speed chase near Vandenberg Air Force Base

Karen Cruz Orduna / KCOY
Karen Cruz Orduna / KCOY
Karen Cruz Orduna / KCOY

GUADALUPE, Calif. -- Guadalupe police arrested a suspect following an attempted bank robbery and high-speed chase Thursday afternoon.

Around 1:30 p.m., Guadalupe officers responded to reports of an attempted robbery at the Mechanics Bank on the 900 block of Guadalupe Street.

When police arrived, the suspect had reporetdly fled the scene.

After investigating, officers determined a man had entered the bank and handed a teller a note demanding money.

The teller was reportedly shocked and confused. The man then took back his demand note and left the scene.

Officers interviewed witnesses at the scene and were able to obtain a description of the suspect and his vehicle. That information was then shared with surrounding law enforcement personnel.

The sheriff's office said they first got a call regarding a reckless driver from Lompoc police around 10:30 a.m. before the notice came out to search for a similar vehicle following the attempted robbery.

After nine minutes, a Santa Barbara County Sheriff's deputy spotted the suspect vehicle traveling south on Highway 1 near Casmalia Road.

The deputy tried to stop the vehicle, but the driver refused to pull over and a high-speed police pursuit ensued that reached speeds of over 100 miles per hour. A county helicopter and CHP officers responded to assist in the pursuit.

The sheriff's office said the driver approached the intersection of Highway 1 and Vandenberg Air Force Base Visitor Center before continuing straight onto the Base. He then drove over a curb into a landscaped area in front of the Visitor Center and fled the vehicle on foot.

Deputies chased after him and successfully apprehended him after less than a minute at the gates to the Air Force Base.

The 19-year-old young man was arrested at the scene for being in possession of a stolen vehicle and evading police. He was booked at the Lompoc Jail.

Police said it is unclear if this incident or suspect is connected to a robbery at a Lompoc bank that took place earlier this week.

Lompoc and Guadalupe Police Departments will be conducting follow-up investigations.

Santa Maria - Lompoc - North County

Jessica Brest

Jessica Brest is a digital journalist and assignment editor at KEYT | KCOY | KKFX.

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Julia Nguyen

Julia Nguyen is an assignment editor and social media coordinator at KEYT|KCOY|KKFX.


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