LA MIRADA — Officials Wednesday jailed a Whittier man suspected of being part of a serial bank robbery team responsible for five Orange County heists since October of last year.
Andres Soto, 50, is accused of being one of the “Market Duo Bandits,” linked to five bank robberies targeting bank branches inside of supermarkets, according to La Habra police and FBI officials.
Police identified Soto as a suspect and arrested him during a traffic stop in the 14000 block of E. Imperial highway in La Mirada without a struggle Wednesday, La Habra police said.
Another suspect, identified as Paul Acosta, 27, of Los Angeles, was arrested Jan. 5 after the bandits’ second heist at a bank branch inside a supermarket in the 2100 block of West Imperial Highway, according to the Orange County Register. Acosta was arrested following a pursuit and deputy-involved shooting in Paramount, while a second suspect fled on foot an escaped.
The bandits are also believed to have robbed the same bank branch on Oct. 25, La Habra police officials said in a written statement.
The string of robberies took place in La Habra, Lake Forest, Seal Beach and Placentia, officials said.
A third suspect was reportedly arrested in connection with the robbery spree in the days following Acosta’s arrest, however information on that suspect was not released.
According to county booking records, Soto and Acosta were both due to appear Friday in Orange County Superior Court.
Meanwhile, another alleged serial bank robbery suspect is awaiting trial after his criminal career came to and end following a bank robbery in La Habra.
La Habra police officers and Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies arrested 34-year-old Francisco Gallegos Jan. 7 after he robbed a bank branch inside a La Habra supermarket. He’s accused of being the “Bubble Wrap Bandit” — responsible for at least five bank robberies in La Habra, La Mirada, Bell Gardens and South Gate.