Southern California

Ex-Southern California Officer With Fake Beard Disguise Arrested in Bank Heist

Jennifer McClary worked for police departments in Los Angeles and Placentia, according to authorities

A former Southern California police officer is suspected in a Bay Area bank heist caught on camera.

Security camera images from a Bank of the West branch in Danville on Tuesday show 36-year-old Jennifer Rae McClary wearing a "Cali" hat, sunglasses and what appeared to be a beard that was drawn on her face, police said. She was arrested later Tuesday on suspicion of bank robbery and possession of a controlled substance.

McClary worked for the Plancentia Police Department from 2008 to 2010 before she was terminated, according to the department. She completed a six-month training program, but did not meet all probationary requirements to become a full-time officer in the northern Orange County city, said Placentia Sgt. Bryce Angel.

"I saw the picture, and I was just as surprised as anybody else," Angel said. "It's kind of sad that anyone would fall to that level in life... She obviously had some issues she was dealing with. 

"It's very unfortunate."

McClary worked for the Los Angeles Police Department before transferring to Placentia, Angel said. McClary's LinkedIn profile shows she was an officer with the Los Angeles Police Department from 2006 to May 2008.

During Tuesday's heist, she allgedly handed the Bank of the West teller a note demanding cash. No weapon was used or shown, Danville police said.

Officers arrested her shortly after the robbery.

Angel said he was not aware of whether McClary pursued other law enforcement positions after 18 months with the department. He said the department was not aware of red flags during her time in Placentia and added that it's not unusual for candidates to fail in meeting probationary requirements.

"It's a very difficult process to go from the application process to a full probationary period," he said. "The percentages are very low of someone going from start to finish and becoming a full-time police officer."

He also was asked whether her training would have helped her plan a heist.

"I don't know if she had that much experience as an officer," Angel said.

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