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Lafayette Bank of America Robbed; Police Release Suspect Photo

Lafayette police are searching for a man who robbed the Bank of America branch on Mount Diablo Blvd. Tuesday.

 

Lafayette police are searching for a man they said entered the Lafayette Bank of America branch at 3530 Mt. Diablo Blvd. a little after 4 p.m. Tuesday and passed a teller a note demanding money from the till.

Investigators said the suspect, described as a white or Hispanic male, 25 to 35 years of age, 5'10" - 6' tall, with a large mole on his right cheek, was wearing a dark brown long sleeve t-shirt, blue jeans, a red or brown colored baseball cap and sunglasses. No weapon was seen.

It is believed the suspect left the area on foot, Lafayette police said, and additional officers from Orinda and Moraga, along with deputy sheriffs from the Contra Costa Office of the Sheriff, assisted in the search. Officers initially asked that area BART trains be held while a search was conducted, but the suspect was not found.

Anyone with any information regarding the identity of this suspect or on this case is asked to contact the Lafayette Police Department tipline at (925) 299-3230.

Orindan May 29, 2012 at 11:38 PM
Wow! Lamorinda Patch is right on the ball! This happened just half an hr ago! I hope they catch the perps who took my money! ;D
Bailey Lee May 29, 2012 at 11:45 PM
description, por favor?
Jose May 29, 2012 at 11:55 PM
Ok, I take back everything I said about catching speeders. Considering the armed banditos, rogue pelotons, and ladies of the evening causing havoc on Main St Lafayette, I think it would be unfair to ask Lafayette to share in such a mundane endeavor as Slow Down Lamorinda. Go get the bad guys.
lovelafayette May 30, 2012 at 01:05 AM
I am so sorry for the poor bank employees. Cops need to get out of their cars and start community policing, walk a beat from St. Marys/Moraga Road and all of Mt. Diablo, working with the business district to PREVENT crime. We need to see your faces at regular intervals, not just after a crime has occurred.
Lafayette Curmudgeon May 30, 2012 at 01:11 AM
Bicycle cops, maybe. Walking a beat in Lafayette seems pretty useless to me. The guys who steal catalytic converters from BART stake out a lot and call their buddies to report where the BART patrols are at given moment. They certainly can see if the Lafayette Police foot patrols are at one end of town and knock off the bank then.
Jose May 30, 2012 at 03:43 AM
I certainly don't mean to make light of the trauma the bank employees experienced. I was in a McDonald's in Oakland when it was robbed at gunpoint, many years ago. All I could tell the police afterward was that it was a very, very big nickel colored handgun. But it was never pointed at me. It was pointed at a teenage girl behind the counter who was a little slow to understand the robber's meaning. She must have been terrified. It was not just a burglary. It was an unspeakable crime against a young kid, from a poor neighborhood, trying to help with expenses. I hope everyone involved at BofA is OK.
bryan May 30, 2012 at 04:53 AM
That's a good picture of the guy.....
Tim Davis May 30, 2012 at 05:08 AM
Yes, not your usual grainy picture.... someone will recognize him
Harry Jenkins May 30, 2012 at 05:12 AM
Wow. That seems awfully brazen to not even try and disguise your appearance. I hope they catch this guy before he hurts someone.
Ahmed May 30, 2012 at 05:20 AM
Happy no one was hurt.
Lori May 30, 2012 at 06:05 AM
And this B of A always has a guard out in front! I should know; it's my bank. Hope my tellers are okay! Hope they catch the guy very soon.
Jose May 30, 2012 at 07:00 AM
That's a good disguise, man. For a COMPLETE IDIOT! Look, Mom, I am wearing my idiot costume! And, NEWS FLASH, banks aren't where the money is anymore. Try robbing the Christmas party fund at your local mega-corporation or rob your local Congressman. Don't tell anybody, but he has $10,000 in small bills in the freezer.
Jose May 30, 2012 at 07:05 AM
Harry, you are being kind. Brazen doesn't do justice to this kind of desperate act of stupidity. He is probably trying to break into the Lafayette lockup at this very moment looking for buried treasure.
My Kids Dad May 30, 2012 at 07:14 AM
yes, where was that guard? Probably a budget cut!
c5 May 30, 2012 at 01:57 PM
hopefully he shouldn't be too hard to track down with that clear image from their security systems. maybe bofa should think about moving the guard inside where he can better protect the bank employees and customers rather than the atm machines? good thing he was on foot, otherwise he would have been caught getting a speeding ticket!
Harry Jenkins May 30, 2012 at 03:43 PM
I would hope so. Armed guards at banks are a legal liability. Most bank robbers are not violent and won't harm anyone if not confronted. This is why tellers are instructed to comply with demands and aren't given weapons and firearms training. Now, an ATM robber is a totally different breed of person. Those folks are alarmingly violent.
Harry Jenkins May 30, 2012 at 03:48 PM
Bank robberies rarely net significant amounts of cash, making the crime not worth it in my opinion. Low return for incurring the high risk of being shot by a police officer. Or, perhaps I place a greater value on my life than bank robbers do on theirs. Unless it's a take-over style robbery (which are very, very rare but dramatic when they happen), the robber is unlikely to obtain any significant amount of cash. Better to run a Ponzi scheme.
Harry Jenkins May 30, 2012 at 03:51 PM
Armed guards are a terrible idea. A lot of legal liability and a high payroll cost. Most bank robbers are not violent and simply want to get in and out of the bank as quickly as possible and have no desire to harm any one. If confronted by an armed guard, things can escalate very quickly. Better to incur the loss of a few thousand dollars rather than to incur the cost of a lawsuit because one of your customers was shot.
Eastofthehills May 30, 2012 at 04:19 PM
The loss you take on a robbery is still way less than a guard even assuming zero liability. An armed guard will run a fully loaded cost of about $5.8K per month ($30/hr X 48 hours per week) I think the average take on a bank robbery is >$5K per incident. So unless you're losing more than $70K per year in robberies it's better to just give them the money and let the cops handle it.
Chris Nicholson May 30, 2012 at 11:08 PM
Bank robbers are repeat players. We need to increase the perceived risk of getting shot or caught. I like the idea of shooting them, but HD multi-camera systems might be the better investment. Ultimately, it is a business decision for banks. Bullet proof barriers used to be more common (still common in high crime cities), but banks prefer to take the risk and accept the losses in exchange for a friendlier atmosphere.... It isn't realistic to expect cops to deter (other than via better post-crime conviction rates) crime for businesses that have a known policy of giving out cash to whoever asks.....
lovelafayette June 01, 2012 at 03:50 PM
http://napa.patch.com/articles/reward-this-weeks-crime-stoppers-fugitives JD follow the lead of Napa Patch and add crime stoppers to the police feed. Make it easy to locate the pic of this robber and the contractor on the lam.
J.D. O'Connor (Editor) June 01, 2012 at 03:58 PM
Hey, LL... hard for me to "follow" anyone. I much prefer to lead! We would gladly help our local police in any substantive way -- stating flatly that we don't work FOR the police but rather in the general public interest. If they had a system in place they liked for garnering info of this type and wanted us to publicize it... I would without hesitation.
Harry Jenkins June 01, 2012 at 04:08 PM
Interestingly this pic was NOT taken by B of A but by another store in the complex. Apparently, shoplifting at this particular store has become one of Lafayette's biggest commercial crime problems.
lovelafayette June 01, 2012 at 04:09 PM
JD, I missed the fact that Crime Stoppers is not a Patch function but a Napa PD program. My point was it would be good to keep this picture visible and accessible, and not have to search through Patch articles to find it if I am in line at the bank and the guy in front of me looks fidgety! My employee was making an ATM deposit when this all went down, and the SWAT team showed up! She said there was no warning to those at the ATMs and she was pretty upset. She was actually able to complete the deposit as the bank was surrounded!
J.D. O'Connor (Editor) June 01, 2012 at 04:17 PM
Ah, right... having been in similar situations now a couple of hundred times or so, I empathize with your employee. Things can get a little tense. Not sure how I can keep the suspect's photo in front of everyone without driving it into the ground -- we walk a fine line there sometimes. That said, we had a HUGE number of people reading our story and checking out the photo. We'll update with more info when it becomes available. Cheers.
Harry Jenkins June 01, 2012 at 04:22 PM
JD - If people were looking at that photo I'm glad a store in that complex is on the ball in terms of crime prevention because it sure wasn't B of A.
lovelafayette June 01, 2012 at 04:31 PM
Good point. B of A does take a different approach to security depending on location, making it more appealing to steal in Lafayette. Smart bank robbers might see the impenetrable wall at B of A on Broadway/51st in Oakland ( my former branch) and zip up Broadway to Hwy 24 for the reach across the counter $$ in Lafayette. Most (maybe all?) banks and post offices and many businesses in the east bay, even the BBQ joints, have bullet proof plastic/glass. I stopped at Everett and Jones on A St, Hayward and placed my order through bullett proof plastic and received my food via a drawer! Needless to say I got it to go!
XBerkeleyite June 02, 2012 at 02:54 AM
The partially visible sign behind him looks as if it might read "Starbuck's Coffee? I suppose one must tweak up with caffeine before robbing a bank. Is shoplifting a problem at Starbucks? I did not know that. This creep is robbing my home town bank. These kinds of incidents, including the "last straw" horrifying and unforgettable experience of arriving home one night, interrupting four black men in the process of robbing my Berkeley Uplands home of Asian carpets, computers, TVs, stereos, etc. are the reason I moved out here. Hence the user name, "ex-Berkeley-ite." [The would-be thieves were caught; they'd been hitting Piedmont homes as well.] Out-of-town opportunistic crime is on the up-tick here, too, sad to say.
Lori June 03, 2012 at 02:51 AM
I think the Starbucks in the pic is the one inside Safeway. Those look like their end-cap freezers, over his shoulder.
Sara June 04, 2012 at 03:57 PM
Any update?

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