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Man charged with robbing a California bank was released from prison a day earlier, prosecutors say


SANTA ANA, Calif. — A man charged with taking three people hostage while robbing a Southern California bank last month had been released from prison a day earlier, federal prosecutors said Wednesday.

The 53-year-old was indicted on robbery charges after investigators said he claimed to have a gun, jumped over the teller counter and began stuffing cash in his pockets at a BMO bank in Anaheim on May 8.

During the holdup, the man ordered the bank manager and two other employees into a storage room, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a statement. Another employee managed to call police, and the suspect was arrested at the scene.

“One day after his release from prison, this defendant allegedly chose to return to crime by taking three victims hostage while he robbed a bank,” U.S. Attorney Martin Estrada said in the statement. Officials said he had been released from San Quentin on May 7 but didn’t provide details of his previous incarceration.

After his arrest at the bank, the suspect was taken to hospital for a scan, where he tried to escape and fought with police officers, prosecutors said.

He was ordered held without bond pending arraignment June 24.

If convicted, he could face up to 20 years in federal prison.



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