Crime

Ceres police seek bank robbery suspects who claimed to have bomb

Surveillance images from the Aug. 23 robbery of the Westamerica Bank on Mitchell Road in Ceres
Surveillance images from the Aug. 23 robbery of the Westamerica Bank on Mitchell Road in Ceres

Ceres police are seeking the public’s help in finding two men who last month robbed the Westamerica Bank at 1788 Mitchell Road, claiming to have a bomb.

The Police Department has released surveillance images of the two men and the silver Honda Odyssey van used in the Aug. 23 robbery.

At 2:43 that afternoon, police report, both men were seen getting out of the van. One went into the bank while the other acted as lookout, police said.

The man who entered the bank handed a teller a note demanding money and stating he had a bomb. The teller gave him money from her drawer, and the man left.

He was described by the teller as a dark-complected Latino with a heavy accent, police said. He is likely 20 to 25 years old, is about 5-foot-3 and 160 pounds. He wore a burgundy hooded sweat shirt with “RVCA” on the upper left front.

The lookout is described as Latino, age 25 to 35, with a large build. He was wearing an orange and black hat.

The van, which police say may have had other subjects inside it, appeared to have damage to the rear bumper and a broken driver’s side passenger window.

Anyone with information on the robbery, or who recognizes the man or the van, is urged to call Detective Trinidad Viramontes at 209-538-5730.

Deke has been an editor and reporter with The Modesto Bee since 1995. He currently does breaking-news, education and human-interest reporting. A Beyer High grad, he studied geology and journalism at UC Davis and CSU Sacramento.
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