Sus­pect in Yuma bank rob­bery ap­pre­hended in Cal­i­for­nia

Yuma Sun - - NEWS - BY JAMES GIL­BERT @YSJAMESGILBERT James Gil­bert can be reached at jgilbert@yu­masun.com or 539-6854. Find him on Face­book at www.Face­book.com/YSJamesGilbert or on Twit­ter @YSJamesGilbert.

The man sus­pected of rob­bing the Wells Fargo Bank inside the Fry’s Gro­cery Store in Yuma two months ago has been ar­rested in Cal­i­for­nia, where he is ac­cused of rob­bing an­other bank in a sim­i­lar man­ner.

Austin Tay­lor Farmer, 24, of Bonita, Calif., was taken into cus­tody on Oct. 24 at his res­i­dence by FBI agents, ac­cord­ing to Laura Eim­i­ler, a spokes­woman for the Los An­ge­les FBI Field Of­fice.

“He is be­lieved to be the same per­son,” Eim­i­ler said.

Farmer, who is be­ing held with­out bail, was charged last month in United States District Court in Santa Ana, Calif., with one count of bank rob­bery for al­legedly rob­bing a US Bank branch lo­cated within a Ralph’s gro­cery store in Aliso Viejo, which is in the San Diego area, on Sept. 1.

Dur­ing the course of its in­ves­ti­ga­tion, the FBI was able to iden­tify Farmer as the sus­pect by com­par­ing footage from both of the bank’s sur­veil­lance sys­tems. He was also iden­ti­fied through a photo lineup.

Also, cam­eras at the U.S. Bor­der Pa­trol im­mi­gra­tion check­point on In­ter­state 8 cap­tured footage of a Chrysler 300 pass­ing through, head­ing west a short time af­ter the rob­bery. The same type of ve­hi­cle was caught on sur­veil­lance cam­eras out­side the gro­cery store in Cal­i­for­nia where the US Bank was robbed.

Ac­cord­ing to Yuma po­lice, the Wells Fargo Bank inside the Fry’s Gro­cery Store at 500 W. 24th St. was robbed shortly af­ter 3 p.m. on Sept. 8.

The ini­tial in­ves­ti­ga­tion re­vealed that a male sus­pect, now be­lieved to be Farmer, walked up to the counter and handed the teller a note de­mand­ing money. It is un­known if he was armed.

The teller handed the sus­pect an undis­closed amount of money, and he fled the store head­ing west­bound.

Ac­cord­ing to the com­plaint filed against him, Farmer is ac­cused of hand­ing the teller at the Wells Fargo in Cal­i­for­nia a note writ­ten on the back of an en­ve­lope. The word­ing in ef­fect said this is not a game, this isn’t a joke, give me the $100s and $50s from the bot­tom drawer.

When the teller tried to put the money from her drawer in a dif­fer­ent en­ve­lope the sus­pect in­structed her to place the money in the en­ve­lope he had given her.

The teller also stated, ac­cord­ing to the com­plaint, the sus­pect kept one hand out of sight so she was afraid he had a gun. No weapon was used, how­ever. The rob­ber took more than $9,000.

The in­ves­ti­ga­tion was con­ducted jointly by the Or­ange County Sher­iff’s Depart­ment; the Yuma Po­lice Depart­ment; the San Diego Sher­iff’s Depart­ment; the San Diego Po­lice Depart­ment; the U.S. Depart­ment of Home­land Se­cu­rity’s Cus­toms and Bor­der Pro­tec­tion; and the FBI Field Of­fices in Phoenix, San Diego and Los An­ge­les.

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