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Freeway Chase Nets 4 Arrests in Bank Heist

September 04, 1998|HOLLY J. WOLCOTT

Four Fountain Valley residents suspected of robbing a Camarillo bank Thursday were arrested on the Ventura Freeway in Thousand Oaks, authorities said.

Juan Carlos Henriquez and Pedro Lopez Hernandez, both 20, and two brothers, ages 16 and 14, were jailed on suspicion of committing the 1 p.m. heist at the City National Bank at 502 N. Las Posas Road, Sheriff's Capt. Keith Parks said.

Parks said the four were cruising the freeway when they decided to rob the bank. "They got off the freeway and went in," he said.

While Hernandez and the youngest boy waited in a car, Henriquez, armed with a pellet gun, and the 16-year-old boy walked into the bank, demanded money from a teller and then fled after being handed less than $1,000, Parks said.

Witnesses in the bank followed the robbers to the waiting getaway car and were able to give deputies a partial license plate number and a description of Henriquez's white Subaru, Parks said.

Deputy Frank Huber spotted the car on the southbound Ventura Freeway and followed it for about eight miles as other deputies and California Highway Patrol officers shut down the southbound lanes at Hampshire Road, where the car was pulled over. A pellet gun and cash were found in the car, Parks said.

A large traffic backup resulted, but cleared after about 45 minutes. Witnesses were brought to the scene to identify the suspects, Parks said.

Deputies and federal authorities interviewed the foursome. The adults were in the process of being booked into county jail and the younger boys were en route to juvenile hall Thursday night.

The incident marks the second time this summer that information from witnesses has led to a quick arrest in a Camarillo bank robbery. On June 18, a man toting a shotgun was arrested on suspicion of robbing Camarillo Community Bank after witnesses gave police vital information.

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