Santa Monica

Masked Bank Robber Armed With Gun Sought in Santa Monica

A person wearing a Day of the Dead-type mask and armed with a long-barreled firearm robbed a Wells Fargo bank branch in Santa Monica Tuesday, prompting a widespread search and a lockdown at a nearby elementary school.

The robbery occurred shortly before 10 a.m. in the 900 block of Montana Avenue, according to the Santa Monica Police Department.

In addition to the mask, the suspect was wearing all dark clothing, including a hoodie and gloves and fled on foot after demanding cash and getting between $3,000 and $5,000, according to Santa Monica police Lt. Candice Cobarrubias.

"The suspect was last seen jumping a wall to the rear of the bank ... in the 800 block of Ninth Street," Cobarrubias said.

No additional description of the robber was immediately available.

Officers responded to the bank within minutes and set up a perimeter between Lincoln Boulevard and 11th Street, from Montana to Washington Avenue.

Nearby Roosevelt Elementary School was placed on a precautionary lockdown, and police instructed residents in the affected area to shelter in place.


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Around noon, police specifically ordered residents near Ninth Street and Idaho Avenue to stay indoors with their windows and doors closed and locked.

By about 3:30 p.m., police said the shelter-in-place order was lifted, although the suspect had not been found.

No injuries were reported.

Anyone with information about the robbery or the suspect was urged to call SMPD Detective Haro at 310-458-8432 or the department watch commander at 310-458-8427.

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