Pink-clad, hatchet wielding Darth Vader bank robbery suspect arrested in Rowland Heights

ROWLAND HEIGHTS — An Albertsons clerk was behind bars Friday on suspicion of robbing a bank branch inside the grocery store where he worked while wielding a hatchet and wearing pink scrubs and a Darth Vader mask, authorities said.
Gregory Sanchez, 46, of Rowland Heights was arrested about three hours after Thursday’s 11 a.m. robbery at the Bank of America branch inside an Albertsons store, 19725 E. Colima Road, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Capt. Michael Parker said.
Sheriff’s and FBI investigators identified Sanchez, a courtesy clerk at the Albertsons where the robbery took place, as a suspect in the crime shortly after it occurred, the captain said. “By then, he had gone to work.”
“He was arrested about 50 feet from where the robbery occurred,” Parker said.
Sanchez is accused of entering the store with a hatchet dressed in pink medical scrubs and a Darth Vader mask from the Star Wars series of movies.
The movie mask was initially reported to sheriff’s officials by a witness as a sun visor and a long black wig.
Brandishing the hatchet, he demanded cash from a teller at the bank branch inside the store and received an undisclosed amount before fleeing in a tan sedan, Lt. John Saleeby said.
Sheriff’s officials declined to say how Sanchez was identified as a suspect prior to his arrest.
According to sheriff’s booking records, he was being held in lieu of $100,000 bail at the sheriff’s Walnut-Diamond Station. He was due for arraignment Tuesday at West Covina Superior Court.
“Bank robbery is a very serious matter and very frightening to victims and witnesses,” Saleeby added in a written statement. “We are glad no one was hurt and that we have a suspect in custody.”

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