Santa Maria man suspected in Arroyo Grande, Pismo Beach bank robberies

newsroom@thetribunenews.comApril 21, 2014 

UPDATE: 11 a.m. Tuesday: The Arroyo Grande Police Department announced it plans to file felony charges against Tonya Michelle Young, who is thought to be an accomplice to the man charged in three San Luis Obispo County bank robberies since March.

The department will be recommending the District Attorney's Office file charges of bank robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery against Young, 33, of Paso Robles. Young remains in County Jail on a charge of bank robbery from Thursday's robbery of a Chase Bank in Atascadero.

The latest charges against Young stem from the April 3 robbery of a Bank of America in Arroyo Grande.

The District Attorney's Office has not announced how many charges it expects to file against Young and her alleged accomplice, George Jessie Gonzales, 55, of Santa Maria.

Original story: Authorities say they have tied the Santa Maria man arrested in connection with an Atascadero bank robbery to two earlier bank robberies in Arroyo Grande and Pismo Beach.

On Friday, the Atascadero Police Department arrested George Jessie Gonzales, 55, and Tonya Michelle Young, 33, of Paso Robles on suspicion of robbing the Chase Bank on the 8000 block of El Camino Real in Atascadero on Thursday.

On Monday, the Arroyo Grande Police Department announced that it will recommend to the county District Attorney’s Office felony charges be filed against Gonzales for an April 3 robbery of the Bank of America on West Branch Street.

Arroyo Grande Police Department detectives, working with the Atascadero Police Department, the Pismo Beach Police Department and the FBI, used video surveillance footage to confirm that Gonzales allegedly used the same vehicle in the Atascadero and Arroyo Grande robberies.

In the April 3 robbery, Arroyo Grande police said Gonzales allegedly entered the Bank of America branch and ordered a bank teller to give him cash while indicating he had a gun.

After the teller gave the robber an undisclosed amount of cash, he allegedly fled on foot toward Wesley Street, the department said.

Also Monday, Pismo Beach police Cmdr. Jake Miller said his department had also recommended robbery charges against Gonzales for the March 21 robbery of the Bank of America branch on Dolliver Street.

“We have good evidence that he was involved,” Miller said.

A spokesperson for the District Attorney’s Office was not available Monday afternoon.

It was not immediately known how many charges Gonzales will face or whether Young will be charged in the two earlier robberies.

As of Monday evening, Gonzales and Young remained in County Jail in lieu of $60,000 bail each. 

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