It was during an after-dinner chat at the home of his aunt that Alfred Giordano quizzed her roommate about armored cars, court records said.
The roommate, Amparo Rey, worked for a bank. Rey said Giordano wanted to know how much money armored vehicles carry. When Rey said she didn't know, he pressed her further: "Well, approximately how much?" And when and where were deliveries made, he asked, according to a court document supporting a police affidavit.
Thinking the questions strange, Rey asked him why he was interested. Giordano, she later told police, responded simply that he "planned to rob an armored car one of these days," court exhibits in support of an arrest warrant said.
Rey said she laughed, believing him to be joking. Giordano, however, assured her he was serious, she said.
Glendale police Friday arrested Alfred Anthony Giordano, 25, and his brother, Peter Paul Giordano Jr., 31, on suspicion of attempted murder and attempted robbery in connection with a machine-gun attack Dec. 31 on an armored car guard in Glendale.
At a Tuesday arraignment, the brothers pleaded not guilty. Bail was set at $500,000 for Alfred Giordano and $250,000 for Peter Giordano. The Giordanos are being held in Los Angeles County Jail, awaiting a preliminary hearing scheduled March 17 in Glendale Municipal Court.
Shot at Close Range
A lone assailant shot Howard J. White, 31, of Hawthorne several times at close range with an Uzi-style 9mm semiautomatic weapon, then ran to a waiting car in a nearby alley, police said. No money was taken. Bullet wounds in White's abdomen, head and hip have left the guard paralyzed from the shoulders down.
Police refused to say which brother they suspect shot the guard and which one they believe was driving the getaway car.
Last week's arrests followed a complex two-month investigation by Glendale homicide detectives into the crime that police said was the first robbery in the city involving a submachine gun.
Transcripts from extensive police interviews and affidavits filed with the court gave a detailed account of that investigation.
According to the records, police first were led to the Giordanos by witnesses to the 10:30 a.m. attack, who said they saw the assailant and driver flee in a black and tan Chevrolet Nova.
Investigators ran license-plate checks on several possible letter and number combinations that witnesses had given them and turned up a Chevrolet Nova registered to Peter Giordano of Glendale.
Met With Roommate
Investigators met with Peter Giordano's roommate, Ernie Ordonez, who told police that he last spoke to Peter Giordano on Jan. 5. He told police that Peter Giordano telephoned him to say only that he was "in trouble and had to get away," documents said. Ordonez said Peter Giordano would not tell him what was wrong or where he was going.
Police learned that Peter Giordano had not shown up for work for several days and did not call to say he would be absent. A paycheck was waiting for him, but he did not pick it up, his supervisor told police.
Ordonez told police that he received a package in the mail on Jan. 11 from Peter Giordano that contained a post office box key, a Security Pacific Bank Ready Teller card and a note asking Ordonez to pick up the paycheck, endorse it and deposit it into his bank account.
Peter Giordano also asked Ordonez to deliver a resignation letter dated Jan. 5 to his employer, Travenol/Hyland Laboratories, that read: "I must start my new job ASAP."
Further investigation showed that Peter Giordano recently bought a 1987 Toyota pickup and used his brother Alfred as a reference.
Police contacted Alfred's wife, Kimberly, in Lancaster, who told police that Alfred no longer lived with her. Kimberly Giordano said her husband was a self-employed painter who stopped by only to drop off money for their children. Officers asked her to tell Alfred Giordano to call them.
Police learned that Alfred Giordano may have been living with his aunt in Pomona. When officers questioned her in January, the aunt's roommate told officers about the conversation in October during which Alfred Giordano questioned her about armored cars. She also told officers that Alfred Giordano had moved from the home two weeks earlier.
On Jan. 12, Alfred Giordano telephoned Glendale police and told them that he was upset that police were questioning family and friends about him and his brother. He told investigators that he had not seen his brother and did not know his whereabouts. He told police he was staying with a friend in Pomona, but refused to give officers the address. However, he agreed to meet them the next day at the police station to discuss his brother.