WHITTIER >> An armed man tried to rob a bank branch inside a Whittier supermarket Wednesday, but ultimately fled empty-handed, authorities said.
The failed crime took place about 6:15 p.m. at a Wells Fargo branch inside of a Ralphs at Whittier Boulevard and Colima Road, Whittier police Lt. Jay Tatman said.
“The suspect came up posing as a customer, waited his turn, then passed a note demanding money,” the lieutenant said.
The would-be robber also brandished a handgun, which he carried inside a manila envelope.
But the gunman apparently became nervous and fled the bank without receiving any money, Tatman said. A bullet-proof barrier separates the bank tellers from the customer area at the bank branch.
Police described the gunman as about 35 years old, with a dark complexion, wearing a white canvas fisherman’s hat, sunglasses, a royal blue long-sleeve shirt and dark pants.
Detectives were looking into whether a getaway car was involved in the failed heist.
Anyone with information can reach Whittier police at 562-567-9200. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
LOS ANGELES >> A San Dimas man who served as vice president of an Ontario tool wholesale company on Wednesday admitted to federal charges of defrauding a Pasadena-based bank out of more than $9 million, authorities said.
Chung Yu Yeung, also known as Louis Yeung, 39, served as vice president of Ontario-based Eastern Tools and Equipment Inc., U.S. Department of Justice spokesman Thom Mrozek said in a written statement.
At an appearance Wednesday in federal court in Los Angeles, Yeung admitted to one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and four counts of bank fraud, Mrozek said. He was scheduled to return to court June 20 to be sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Christina A. Snyder.
Between 2007 and 2012, Yeung admitted to setting up a network of shell companies, controlled by himself, to give the false illusion that Easter Tools was conducting far more business than he really was, officials said.
“Yeung admitted that the fictitious companies allowed him and other conspirators to falsely inflate Eastern Tools’ accounts receivable and financial statements in representations to East West Bank,” according to Mrozek.
After using fraudulent documents to boost his business’ line of credit, “Eastern Tools defaulted on the promissory note after East West Bank discovered the fraud, causing more than $9 million in losses to the bank, Mrozek said.
FBI and IRS agents conducted the investigation.
“This defendant went to great lengths to create the illusion of business that defrauded the victim bank out of millions, but law enforcement was able to penetrate the illusion,” U.S. Attorney Eileen M. Decker said. “Crimes like these can threaten the stability of our financial institutions and therefore our national economy.”
Yeung was arrested in connection with the investigation in April of 2015. Alleged co-conspirator and Eastern Tools and former Equipment President Guo Xiang “David” Fan, 53, is also named in the same indictment charging Yeung. He remains at large.
PASADENA >> Police are seeking a man who robbed a Pasadena bank branch Tuesday afternoon.
The crime took place about 1:40 p.m. at a Chase branch at 2670 block of East Colorado Boulevard, just west of San Gabriel Boulevard, Pasadena police Lt. John Luna said.
“The robber entered the bank and got into the teller line,” Luna said. “Upon reaching the teller window, he presented a note demanding money and saying he was armed.”
Police said the teller handed over an undetermined amount of cash before the suspect fled. He was last seen on foot.
He was described as black man between 28 and 30 years old, about 5 feet 4 inches tall, of average build, wearing a dark-colored hooded sweatshirt and dark-colored shoes, Luna said. Officers searched the area but did not find the robber.
Anyone with information can reach Pasadena police at 626-744-4241. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
A man in a black baseball cap embarked on a two-county robbery spree in recent weeks, holding up or trying to hold up Citibank branches in Glendora, Arcadia and Placentia in recent weeks, authorities said.
Glendora police released surveillance images of the robber Wednesday in hopes of generating tips from the public as to the mystery bandit’s identity. He’s robbed in both Los Angeles and Orange counties.
“We’re hoping someone recognized this person,” Glendora police Detective Russell Ziino said.
The robber first showed up about 4:50 p.m. on Feb. 29 at Citibank, 401 E. Arrow Highway in Glendora, police said.
“(He) handed the teller a demand note that stated he had a gun. No gun was seen,” Glendora police said in a written statement. “The teller handed him an undisclosed amount of money and the suspect left.”
The serial bandit again turned up about 12:40 p.m. on March 4 at a Citibank branch at 1300 N. Kraemer Blvd. in Placentia, police said. He handed a teller a similar note and fled with an undisclosed amount of money.
Just over four hours later, the same robber entered a Citibank branch at 100 S. First Ave. in Arcadia and attempted the same type of robbery.
“The teller in this case feared for his life and went to the back of the bank,” according to the police statement. “The suspect left with no cash.”
The notes presented by the robber were scribbled with messages to the effect of: “Don’t talk. I have a gun. Give me the money,” Ziino said. Though he always threatened to be armed, no gun has been seen during the crimes.
The yet-unnamed serial bandit is described as a white man, about 25 years old, 5 feet 10 inches tall, 130 pounds, with green eyes and a scar on his right eyelid.
In all three incidents, he wore a black baseball cap, Ziino added. No getaway car has been linked to the robber.
Anyone with information can reach Glendora police at 626-914-8250. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
PHOTOS: [TOP] Authorities seeking the serial bank robber pictured during a heist at a Citibank branch in Glendora on Feb. 29, 2016. [MIDDLE] Authorities are seeking the serial bank robber pictured during a heist at a Citibank branch in Placentia on March 4, 2016. [BELOW] Authorities are seeking the serial bank robber pictured during a heist at a Citibank branch in Arcadia on March 4, 2016. (Courtesy, Glendora Police Department)
ARCADIA >> A man fled with an unknown amount of cash after robbing a bank branch inside of an Arcadia grocery store Wednesday afternoon, police said.
The crime took place about 3:30 p.m. at a U.S. Bank branch inside of a Ralphs grocery store, 1101 W. Huntington Drive, Arcadia police officials said in a written statement.
“A man walked up to the window and presented a demand note to the teller as he verbally demanded money,” according to Lt. Roy Nakamura.
“With the U.S. currency in his hands, the male suspect walked out of the location and away from the area without being seen,” Sgt. Jason Davis said.
The robber was last seen walking south along Sunset Boulevard toward Huntington Drive, Nakamura said.
No weapon was seen during the crime, he added.
Initial radio reports from the scene indicated the suspect claimed to have a bomb, but police Wednesday night would not confirm whether that was the case. It was unclear whether the supermarket was evacuated or closed as a result of the incident.
Police described the robber as a Latino man, approximately 26 to 27 years old, 5 feet 9 inches tall and 200 pounds. He was unshaven and had a mustache and a short goatee, and possible a mole on his right cheek.
The robber wore a black-and-white striped Fedora hat with a black and white band, a dark zippered hooded sweatshirt and dark pants.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Arcadia police. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
The FBI is also assisting Arcadia police in the investigation.
ROWLAND HEIGHTS >> An opportunistic robber snatched $1,700 from a bank counter and ran as a woman was making a deposit at a Rowland Heights bank branch Friday, officials said.
The crime took place about 11:40 a.m. at the Bank of America, 1501 Nogales Street, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Joseph Badaly said.
A woman in her 20s was making a deposit when she set the cash on the counter for the teller, he said.
The robber ran from the bank and a fled in a white, newer-model, four-door car, Badaly said. He was described as a black man in his 20s, about 6 feet tall, of medium build.
Deputies were still working to obtain any bank surveillance footage that may help the investigation.
ROSEMEAD >> A man robbed a bank along Valley Boulevard in Rosemead Tuesday, officials said.
The crime took place shortly before 11 a.m. at the Pacific Alliance Bank, 8400 Valley Blvd., Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Ernest Bille said.
The lone suspect entered the bank and handed a teller a note demanding cash, the lieutenant said. He motioned as if he had a gun, though none was seen.
After obtaining cash from the teller, the robber fled the bank, Bille said. A detailed suspect description was not available.
No injuries were reported.
Investigators from the sheriff’s Major Crimes Bureau and crime lab responded to the scene, along with the FBI, Bille said.
TEMPLE CITY >> Three men carried out an armed robbery at a Temple City bank Friday, officials said.
The heist took place about 11:40 a.m. at a Bank of the West branch, 9934 E. Las Tunas Drive, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Ismael Chavez said.
One of the robbers brandished a revolver and pointed it at a teller while demanding money, the lieutenant said. They fled with an undetermined amount of cash.
Deputies described the robbers as three black men. One was in his 30s, about 5 feet 7 inches tall, 185 pounds, wearing blue jeans, a baseball cap and a checkered shirt.
The other two robbers were both of thin build, about 5 feet 9 inches tall, wearing gray hooded sweatshirts, dark pants and bandanas covering their faces.
They were last seen driving south from the bank on Baldwin Avenue in a light gray compact car with faded paint.
SANTA FE SPRINGS >> A suspect arrested Thursday following a Santa Fe Springs bank robbery is believed to be a serial bandit sought for previous heists in Anaheim and Orange, police said Friday.
Police arrested Ryan Thomas See, 25, of La Palma minutes after Thursday’s 2:50 p.m. robbery at a Chase branch at Telegraph and Carmenita roads in Santa Fe Springs, according to Whittier police officials and Los Angeles County booking records.
He was taken into custody as he attempted to flee in an Uber car, officials said.
“(See) presented the teller with a demand note, claiming he had a bomb and warned he would detonate it if police or others were alerted,” Whittier police said in a written statement. “The teller complied and handed over nearly $6,000 in cash.”
Officers arrested him around the corner in South Whittier as he attempted to enter a getaway car, later found to be an Uber car he had reserved, occupied by a female driver, police and FBI officials said.
A witness aided in the capture by following the suspect from the bank and reporting his position to police, Lt. Aaron Ruiz said. The stolen cash was recovered.
Following his arrest, investigators working with the FBI determined See was the suspected “Windy City Bandit,” sought for bank robberies at Chase banks in Anaheim on Oct. 5 and in Orange on Tuesday, FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said.
The FBI gave him the moniker due to a beanie emblazoned with a Chicago Bears logo he wore during the alleged crimes, she said.
See was initially booked on suspicion of bank robbery and making criminal threats at the Whittier Police Department, but was later turned over to federal custody to face federal prosecution, Eimiller said.
Upon being confronted with bank surveillance photos from the previous Orange County robberies, “See stated that he was the person in all three of the bank surveillance photographs,” FBI Agent Steve May wrote in a criminal complaint filed Thursday in federal court.
See claimed that he committed the robberies because he owed a “Mexican guy” money for drugs, but did not know man’s name, according to the complaint.
The defendant said the unnamed accomplice drove him to the scenes of the first two robberies. See told investigators he took an Uber car to get to the third robbery.
“See stated that he was pressured by the Mexican guy to go to that bank and rob that bank,” May wrote. “See further stated that if See did not do as instructed, the Mexican guy would harm/shoot his family.”
He was ordered held without bail during his initial court appearance Friday, Eimiller said.
BANK SURVEILLANCE IMAGES courtesy of the FBI.
SANTA FE SPRINGS >> Police, aided by a good Samaritan, quickly apprehended an alleged bank bandit following a robbery at a Telegraph Road bank branch Thursday afternoon, officials said.
The crime was reported just before 3 p.m. at a Chase bank, 13417 Telegraph Road, near Carmenita Road, Whittier police Lt. Aaron Ruiz said. The Whittier Police Department provides police services for Santa Fe Springs.
“The suspect presented a letter to the teller indicating he had a bomb,” Ruiz said.
The teller handed over an undisclosed amount of cash, and the robber fled the bank on foot.
But a witness followed behind the fleeing robber in a car while reporting his position to authorities, officials said.
Whittier police found and arrested the suspect without a struggle minutes later along Parkinson Avenue, just north of Trumball Street, in unincorporated South Whittier, Ruiz said. The money stolen in the bank robbery was recovered.
The name of the suspect, described as a man in his 20s, was not available Thursday evening.