Suspect in three bank robberies arrested near Whittier
A convicted felon suspected of committing three bank robberies in a three-hour period is in police custody, authorities said Wednesday.
Detectives from the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department‘s Major Crimes Bureau-Burglary and Robbery Task Force and the FBI identified Richard Martinez as a suspect in the robberies after they identified a late model black convertible Chevrolet Camaro at the scene of the robberies as the getaway car, said Deputy Brenda Serna of the Sheriff’s Information Bureau.
Detectives tracked Martinez at around 2 p.m. Tuesday to a residence in the 10600 block of Reichling Lane in an unincorporated area bordering Pico Rivera and Whittier where they served a search warrant for his arrest, said Deputy Brenda Serna of the Sheriff’s Information Bureau.
Martinez was arrested without incident as he came out of the residence between Norwalk Boulevard and the San Gabriel River (605) Freeway, Serna said.
During a search of the residence, FBI agents and detectives found a loaded pistol-ripped shotgun, a loaded 9MM handgun with an extended magazine and a demand note that Martinez allegedly passed to bank tellers before robbing the banks, according to broadcast reports.
The robberies, which authorities say occurred on Aug. 15, were near each other and shared the same modus operandi, including the demand note. The crimes also involved the same suspect and vehicle description.
Martinez was taken to the Pico Rivera Sheriff’s Station where he was booked on robbery charges and additionally charged with being a convicted felon in possession of two firearms, Serna said. He is being held on $50,000 bail. He is scheduled to appear Thursday at the West Covina Courthouse.
The investigation is ongoing in order to determine if Martinez is connected to other recent Southern California bank robberies.