FBI agents compare details of three SCV bank robberies

Signal File Photo. Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's deputies convene near a patrol car outside of the Logix location in Valencia after a reported robbery on Tuesday, Juyl 25, 2017. Katharine Lotze/The Signal

FBI agents were still looking Wednesday for the man who robbed a Valencia credit union late Tuesday afternoon and were pursuing the possibility he may the same man who held up two banks in Newhall last month.

“Investigators are looking into whether this one is linked to other recent robberies in Newhall,” FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller told The Signal Wednesday.

photo of June 12 bank robbery suspect released by FBI.

“The suspect is described as white male, 50s-60s. (It was a) note job,” she said, referring to reports the robber handed the bank teller a note demanding money.

On Tuesday, about 5:15 p.m., a lone male entered the Logix Federal Credit Union Valencia Promenade branch on McBean Parkway near Magic Mountain Parkway, handed the teller a note and walked out with some amount of money.

“No weapon (was) seen,” Eimiller said.

Within seconds of the robbery, deputies with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station began looking for a white PT Cruiser.

And, although a PT Cruiser was mentioned in reports from the scene of one of the Newhall robberies and also mentioned Tuesday in connection with the Logix robbery, FBI agents were “following up on various vehicle descriptions by witnesses.”

“Right now it appears – it appears – to be the same guy,” said Lt. Chuck Becerra, who worked as Watch Commander for the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station on June 20 when the Chase bank was robbed on Lyons Avenue told The Signal.

“It looks like we’re dealing with the same guy,” he said.

On Wednesday, FBI agents with the help of the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department’s Major Crimes Bureau were pursuing the same suspicion that they may be dealing with a serial bank robbery in the SCV.

Eimiller said Wednesday that investigators were not releasing a photo of Tuesday’s Logix robbery suspect.

Photos of the two recent Newhall bank robbery suspects, however, were released by an FBI-sanctioned group and seem – at least by appearances – to be the same man.

Surveillance photo captured by Chase Bank branch on Lyons of suspect on July 27.

The suspect was captured by surveillance camera on June 12 at the counter of the Wells Fargo branch on Lyons Avenue at Wiley Canyon Road, wearing a white or beige baseball cap, sunglasses with large rectangular lenses and a dark blue long-sleeved collared shirt.

A similar, almost identical, suspect was captured by surveillance camera on June 27 at the counter of the Chase Bank branch on Lyons at Apple Street, wearing a dark baseball cap, same size and style of sunglasses and a gray short-sleeved collared shirt.

All three robberies, including the one Tuesday, happened between 3 and 5 p.m., with the last two happening about 5 p.m. – quitting time for many employees.

The two latter robberies each happened on Tuesday, the first robbery at Wells Fargo was on a Monday.

On June 12, shortly before 3 p.m., a lone male walked into the bank branch of Wells Fargo on Lyons Avenue at Wiley Canyon Road, gave a note to a teller demanding money and indicating he had a gun, Shirley Miller, spokeswoman for the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station confirmed for The Signal at the time.

No gun was seen, no shots were fired and no one was reportedly hurt in the incident, Sgt. Dan Peacock said at the time.

Bank robbery investigators including FBI agents and detectives with the Major Crimes Bureau called in to investigate the robbery were called back to the SCV June 27 for a second similar robbery at the Chase Bank in Newhall.

In that robbery, like the one on June 12, a lone male walked into the Chase Bank branch on Lyons Avenue at Apple Street shortly after 5 p.m. and walked out with an undisclosed amount of money, having warned a teller he had a gun although no gun was seen.

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