Mammoth Police investigate two suspects in bank robbery



Surveillance tape of bank robbery suspect

Surveillance tape of bank robbery suspect

Mammoth Lakes Bank Robbery Update

A robbery occurred at the Mammoth Lakes branch of Union Bank on Friday, August 2.  Two possible suspects have been identified and located, and both have been cleared.

The bank’s surveillance camera photo was widely distributed through the local media and several local residents identified two different people as the suspect.  The first individual was identified by a local resident who, after viewing the surveillance photo, believed it was a local resident.  That person was located a few days later and cleared as a possible suspect.

The second suspect was identified by multiple local residents as a former Mammoth Lakes resident.  There was sufficient information for an arrest warrant and the individual was located in Santa Monica and arrested by the Santa Monica Police Department on August 14 and held for MLPD.  On August 15, two MLPD officers traveled to Santa Monica and transported the warrant suspect back to Mammoth Lakes.  After further investigation, it was determined that there was sufficient conflicting evidence to release the individual pending further investigation.  The arrest warrant was withdrawn and he has returned to Southern California.

The investigation is continuing.    The robbery occurred at 2:45 pm when the suspect entered the bank and passed a note to the teller which stated in both English and Spanish, “ROBBERY.”  The teller handed the cash from her cash drawer to the suspect and activated the silent alarm as he was walking towards the exit.  MLPD officers arrived in less than three minutes but were unable to locate the suspect.

The suspect is described as a Male, white, between 55-60 years, 5-9, slender build, white hair covered with a light green baseball cap, checkered white, red, and green long sleeve shirt.  He was clean shaven.  No vehicle or weapon was seen.

The Police Department has received many tips from the public.  Anyone with information about the suspect is requested to contact the MLPD at (760) 934-2011.


568 Old Mammoth Rd., P.O. Box 2799, Mammoth Lakes, CA  93546






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18 Responses to Mammoth Police investigate two suspects in bank robbery

  1. Trouble August 20, 2013 at 8:05 pm #

    You gotta feel for the dude from Santa Monica.

  2. Big Rick OBrien August 20, 2013 at 8:31 pm #

    I’d be one pissed of dude if I was arrested (in Santa Monica) and dragged all the way back to Mammoth in cuffs because I resembled somebody else. Why couldn’t they verify his story while he was still in So. Cal. , locked up safe in jail, not going anywhere? I hope Mammoth PD at least paid for his trip home, with a real big SORRY ,CHARLIE .

    • Benett Kessler August 20, 2013 at 8:42 pm #

      We don’t know what the evidence was, Big Rick. Our officers are working the case. We can’t judge actions without details.

      • Trouble August 21, 2013 at 6:40 am #

        Sounds to me like Mammoth Police are on a fishing expedition.

      • MK August 21, 2013 at 8:18 am #

        Ya know this is pretty sad that this happened almost across the street from the MLPD. And they could not get the guy!

        This is the kind of stuff that happens when you strip the PD below BARE BONES!

        This town is going to get sued big time soon. Our staffing in well below the minimum as per PACT ( I think) Just wait!

        • JeremiahJoseph August 21, 2013 at 2:32 pm #

          I’m sure Inyo county could cough up a couple of officers for Mono County to use, without leaving to little for Inyo county needs.

      • Big Rick OBrien August 21, 2013 at 3:29 pm #

        I’m just saying, Bennett, that they could have saved a lot of time, money,embarrassment, if they wouldn’t have jumped the gun & did a little more investigating, locally, while this guy was cooling his heels in the Santa Monica lock-up. HE wasn’t going anywhere… To arrest a guy AND haul him in cuffs 400+ miles on just the word of a few local residents is not acceptable. And NOW, he’s got an armed robbery warrant in his background.
        I can tell you from direct experience, there is NOTHING worse, than being arrested and locked in a cell for something you did not do.

        • Benett Kessler August 21, 2013 at 5:43 pm #

          For sure. All I’m saying is we do not have the facts about the evidence police used to interrogate this man. Until we do, we can’t draw many accurate conclusions.

  3. Steve August 20, 2013 at 10:29 pm #

    Just put his picture on Reddit or Twitter and he’ll be found in 12 hours.

  4. JeremiahJoseph August 21, 2013 at 10:20 am #

    Combat first and ask questions later.. serve and protect? HA! that’s so 19th century!
    Police forces have become so militarized it’s ridiculous! Yes I believe in law enforcement, Yes we need them, But no we do not need swat teams for stuff like this; (all recent incidents)
    -In Texas they had a SWAT raid on a organic farm and they came up with this = 17 blackberry bushes, 15 okra plants, 14 tomatillo plants and native grass’s and sunflowers, oh yeah can’t forget marijuana was “suspected” to be growing there. (Waste of tax $)
    -Alcohol inspections at a bar in Manassas Park, VA (waste of tax $)
    -Raid Bars for suspected underage drinking in New Haven, CT (waste of tax $)
    -To perform license inspections at Barbershop in Orlando, FL (waste of tax $)
    -To raid a gay bar in Atlanta where police suspected customers and employees were having sex (WASTE OF TAX $!!)
    So this is what we get post 9/11? They have all this awesome equipment and by all means they want to use it? and you wonder why we have so many incidents where police force is excessive, we have become so numb to the fact!
    Excuse me for not having a blind dedication to supposed authorities…

    • Benett Kessler August 21, 2013 at 11:19 am #

      Waiting to get facts does not equal “having a blind dedication to supposed authorities.”
      Benett Kessler

    • CALM DOWN August 21, 2013 at 10:58 pm #

      Calm Down, Jeremiah. Where in the story did you see that a SWAT team was used? What awesome equipment did MLPD use? There’s not a SWAT team anywhere in the Eastern Sierra. It sounds to me like they had an arrest warrant. It was served, and when MLPD gathered whatever additional information they got, determined he wasn’t their man. So, he was released. No SWAT team involved. No excessive force. So what is your problem?

      • JeremiahJoseph August 22, 2013 at 8:39 am #

        (Deep Breaths, go to my happy place…found it!)
        Calm Down? Seriously Calm Down? There’s no SWAT type team in the eastern sierras? Wrong! do we need SWAT in some dire situations, yes (just for the record).
        But excuse me for taking the waste of tax dollars seriously.
        I was just trying to raise the point of over militarized police forces, that leads to over reacting in stupid situations.
        What is my problem? My problem is “we the people” happen to be on the menu, rather then at the table, You know gov’t for the people by the people?
        My Problem? I have a problem with how police procedure and the justice system is counter productive to actually helping the individual that needs help, obviously that is not the goal they are reaching for (job security).
        What’s my problem? Wake UP!

  5. JeremiahJoseph August 21, 2013 at 12:32 pm #

    So when they escorted the individual from Santa Monica to Mono County they waited to get the facts?
    I do not support the status quo at all! I do not support practices that seem to be counter productive to society, whether it effects me first hand or not.
    Our law enforcement has become militarized! I am just trying to raise that point. I gave prime examples of over excessive use of force. Yes I go off subject a lot..
    I have to say the robbery individual looks like a lot of people I have crossed paths with.
    Blind dedication comes in many forms not just for law enforcement, for instance people believe the FDA when they have some serious conflict of interest going on, or even this, I feel this one is relevant to You Benett, the Gov’t spying program (NSA) (CIA) the complacent public that state “I have nothing to worry about, they can listen and check up on me” but the fact of the matter is they are not using this for counter terrorism, for example GLENN GREENWALD (one who wrote the Snowden NSA story (the guardian)) has been a victim of intimidation for actually giving the public some real journalism, you know journalism that gives the people what they should know and what is going on. Unlike the mainstream medias that far too many give “BLIND DEDICATION” to are really only lap dogs for the gov’t and international corporations just like our political parties… There is a war on journalism going on, we can’t expect the Gov’t to expose it’s own shortcomings and by all means no concerned citizen or journalist trying to give the people what they should know (like what the gov’t is up to, with our tax dollars!) is considered a enemy of the state real quick if it speaks badly of the gov’t…I am not saying you should be worried, please don’t take it as a dis.
    Bradley Manning is going to jail for exposing war crimes nobody will ever go to jail for, he just wanted to give the american public the true cost of war so we could make a educated decision whether we should be there or not, and yes he did go through the proper channels within the military at first but they told him to “show blind dedication boy!” “bow your head” so he took upon himself, and you wonder why Snowden doesn’t trust the US gov’t justice system with whistle blowers!
    Thank You Benett for giving me the avenue to speak my mind..

    • Benett Kessler August 21, 2013 at 1:22 pm #

      The fact is, you and I don’t have the facts.

      • JeremiahJoseph August 21, 2013 at 2:12 pm #

        Your right, I have no facts on this specific case, so then it’s settled.
        Besides the way they jumped to conclusions thinking they had their man before they had the FACTS..
        Law enforcement needs the general public, that’s how they get most of their leads, but it seems they don’t care as long as they have a job to do…

      • Tourbillon August 22, 2013 at 1:15 pm #

        Quite the contrary, we have a lot of “facts”, enough in which to sow a seed of opinion, and for reasonable people such as JJ to confirm a few suspicions. Not having all the facts is not the same thing as not having any facts at all. We have the unusual fact of MLPD traveling hundreds of miles to take custody of someone. We have the unusual fact of MLPD transporting that person back to Mono County and then we have the unusual fact that once here, that person was very rapidly released after what could not have been a very lengthy investigation (you and/or MLPD fail to report the release date but time in custody could not have been more than five days and most likely was less). From this it is reasonable to deduce that whatever investigation exonerated the suspect, it was over quickly and, thus, quite possibly could have been done in SoCal without fetching everyone back and forth multiple times.

        None of this is unreasonable, and all of it based on fact. As more facts emerge, opinions can change, but this does not mean preliminary opinions are illegitimate. We’re not in court, we’re on an Internet page. The preliminary opinion of our ancestors that the lion might be hungry, and so fleeing might be smart, could have been wrong. Maybe the lion had just eaten and our ancestors wasted their breath. But preliminary opinions are hard-wired into us for obvious reasons.


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