SANTA MARIA, Calif. – Police arrested a 64-year-old Sylmar resident on Wednesday night with the assistance of the Los Angeles Police Department and the FBI, for days earlier robbing the Community West Bank branch at 112 E. Betterava Rd at knifepoint, according to the Santa Maria Police Department.
On Monday, SMPD said it received a call from the bank around 8:15 a.m. reporting a bank robbery where the man forced his way into the building with a knife and kept the employees inside before he left with an undisclosed amount of money.
SMPD said the man left the scene by the time officers arrived, so SMPD detectives and agents with the Santa Maria FBI Field Office looked to video surveillance that captured the man and his vehicle.
After tracking the man's following locations post-robbery to a nearby gas station, detectives said they were able to identify the vehicle to a residence in Sylmar within the San Fernando Valley.
Detectives said they began collaborating with LAPD officers assigned to the Sylmar area, and on Wednesday LAPD found the man's vehicle and detain the driver, then identified as the 64-year-old Sylmar resident.
SMPD retrieved the 64-year-old from the LAPD Topanga Community Police Station, and while in the area assisted local FBI personnel in executing a search warrant that yielded numerous items from the bank robbery, according to the department.
Santa Maria police said officers booked the Sylmar man into Santa Barbara County Jail for charges of robbery, kidnapping, assault with a deadly weapon and false imprisonment.
SMPD said the man is being held on a bail of $1 million.
The department asks anyone with information related to this case to please contact lead SMPD investigator, Ivan Swenson at 805-928-3781 ext. 1648.
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