Two people taken into custody in Atascadero bank robbery

Atascadero police are investigating whether Thursday's heist was connected to recent South County robberies

jlavelle@thetribunenews.comApril 17, 2014 

UPDATE 9:10 p.m.: Atascadero police took a man and woman into custody Thursday evening on suspicion of robbing a local bank and are investigating whether the suspects could be connected to two South County robberies.

Police said the man was found hiding in the trunk of the suspected getaway car and the woman was the driver.

Police received a call at about 5:21 p.m. Thursday of a robbery at Chase Bank at 8055 El Camino Real in Atascadero. Bank employees said the robber, a lone male described as Hispanic and wearing white face paint, had indicated he had a weapon although none was visible, Atascadero police Sgt. Gregg Meyer said.

The employees said the suspect fled on foot with an undisclosed amount of cash. One witness reported seeing a suspicious vehicle leaving the area near the bank and a person matching the description of the robber was spotted getting into the car.

Police found the car near the bank with the woman driving, conducted a traffic stop and found the man in the trunk, Meyer said.

Both people were taken into custody, but one suspect had a medical condition, unrelated to the incident, and was taken to a hospital for evaluation and then released, Meyer said. He declined to say which suspect was evaluated.

Both people would be booked into San Luis Obispo County Jail on Thursday night and their names made public at that time, he said.

The bank robbery is the third in less than a month in San Luis Obispo County. A Bank of America was robbed in Arroyo Grande on April 3 and a Pismo Beach Bank of America was robbed on March 21.

“Our agency is working with those agencies and the FBI to see if they are connected,” Meyer said. “There seem to be some similarities.”

UPDATE 7:10 p.m.: Atascadero police have taken into custody a bank robbery suspect hiding in the trunk of the alleged getaway vehicle on Thursday.

Police received a call at about 5:21 p.m. Thursday of the robbery at Chase Bank at 8055 El Camino Real. The robber, a lone male whom witnesses described as Hispanic and wearing white face paint, had indicated he had a weapon although none was visible, according to a Police Department news release.

The suspect fled on foot with an undisclosed amount of cash.

A witness told police officers of a suspicious vehicle leaving the area near the bank, and a person matching the description of the robber was spotted getting into the vehicle, the release said. Police found the vehicle near the bank and conducted a traffic stop, then found the suspect hiding in the trunk.

The identity of the suspect has not yet been released.

A police dispatcher said a woman was also brought to the police station, but her involvement was not immediately made clear.

The incident is still being investigated, and anyone with information is asked to contact the Atascadero Police Department’s Investigation Unit at 805-461-5051.

Original story: Atascadero police have arrested one person in connection with a robbery at a Chase Bank on Thursday afternoon.

The robbery occurred at about 5:20 p.m. at the Chase Bank in the 8000 block of El Camino Real, a dispatcher with the Atascadero Police Department said.

No details on the suspect were immediately available.

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