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Suspected bank robber in custody after foot pursuit
Yuma police have arrested two people in connection with the robbery of a Wells Fargo bank Thursday morning.
The bank, 790 W. Catalina Drive, was robbed shortly after 10 a.m. Police responding to the scene knew the suspect had fled on foot with an undisclosed amount of money and began searching the vicinity.
According to Sgt. Leanne Worthen of the Yuma Police Department, the suspect entered the bank and demanded money from the teller. She did not know if the suspect was armed or whether he presented the teller with a note or verbally demanded the money.
"He did receive an undisclosed amount of money and he left the area on foot," Worthen said.
Worthen said a man matching a description of the suspected robber was quickly spotted by officers. As officers attempted to apprehend the man, he took off and led police on a foot pursuit, which ended in the vicinity of Kofa High School, about half a mile from the bank.
"Our officers were able to respond very quickly. The information we were given was a suspect was leaving the area of the bank on foot," Worthen said. "We pursued a male subject to the area of Kofa High School and he was taken into custody."
That suspect has been identified as 25-year-old Jesus Alaniz. He was arrested and booked into the Yuma County Detention Center on charges of robbery, burglary and theft.
Worthen said during the investigation into the robbery, it was discovered that Alaniz was wanted for another case involving the theft of weapons and other property. He was booked on a charge of theft in that case.
Additionally, Yuma police learned Alaniz’s brother, identified as 21-year-old Nestor Alaniz, was allegedly involved in Thursday’s robbery. He was arrested and booked into the Yuma County Detention Center on charges of robbery, burglary and theft.
There were customers inside the bank at the time of the robbery, but no one was injured. The bank was closed for several hours while investigators worked at the scene gathering evidence.
Worthen said it is not known whether the suspect in Thursday’s bank robbery is connected to the botched robbery attempt at the Mohave State Bank on Dec. 11, but it is something investigators will attempt to determine during their investigation.
YPD asks anyone with information about this case to call 373-4700, or 78-CRIME to remain anonymous.
James Gilbert can be reached at email@example.com or 539-6854. Find him on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/YSJamesGilbert or on Twitter @YSJamesGilbert.