Crime

Three Monterey County men arrested for Paso Robles bank robbery

Three Monterey County men were arrested Tuesday night in connection with a Paso Robles bank robbery.

Jose Christian Ramirez, 29, Luis Rios Rico, 21 — both of Soledad — and Edward Ivan Ochoa, 30, of Greenfield allegedly participated in an armed robbery at Chase Bank on Niblick Road earlier that night, according to a Paso Robles Police Department news release.

Police said five men wearing black clothing and masks and wielding handguns and a rifle entered the bank and demanded money. One of the men struck a bank employee with a rifle before the group fled and escaped into heavy rush-hour traffic, according to authorities.

Police, a CHP helicopter and San Luis Obispo County Probation Department officers responded to a 911 call reporting the robbery about 6:07 p.m. Paso Robles police contacted the FBI’s Santa Maria field office, which sent multiple agents to help with the investigation.

CHP officers later located a vehicle that fit the description issued by police dispatchers traveling northbound on Highway 101 near King City at about 100 mph.

Officers stopped the vehicle and found three occupants matching the robbery suspects’ descriptions. The men were detained, and Paso Robles police responded to the traffic stop and took them into custody.

The suspects were arrested on suspicion of robbery, assault with a deadly weapon, kidnapping with intent to commit robbery, conspiracy, providing false information to a police officer. Ramirez is also suspected of violating his post-release supervision.

All three suspects are being held in the San Luis Obispo County Jail, each in lieu of $1,000,000 bail.

The unknown amount of money the suspects allegedly stole has not yet been recovered.

Police are continuing to investigate the incident and believe additional suspects may have participated in the robbery. Anyone with information about this crime or anyone involved is encouraged to call the Paso Robles Police Department at 805-237-6464 or Crime Stoppers at 805-549-7867.

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