Violent Crime

* Leroy Wierzchowicz was arrested on suspicion of robbing seven banks in the South Bay over the last five months

ID #11-46

ARRESTED-Los Gatos-Monte Sereno police have arrested a man suspected of robbing seven banks in the South Bay over the last five months. Leroy Wierzchowicz was arrested on April 15 at his home on Highland Court in San Jose, where detectives found numerous items related to several robberies, according to police. Wierzchowicz is suspected of robbing three different banks in November 2010, including a Chase, a Bank of the West, and a Union Bank. All three are located on Camden Avenue in San Jose. Detectives believe he robbed another two in December 2010, including a Comerica Bank on Mission Street in Santa Cruz and a Wells Fargo Bank on Meridian Avenue in San Jose.

He is accused of robbing two more banks in February — a Wells Fargo Bank and a Comerica Bank, both located on Santa Cruz Avenue in Los Gatos. Prior to his arrest, investigators had called him the “Black Binder Bandit,” because in most of the robberies he would allegedly approach the teller, open up a black binder and then show him or her a note demanding money, police officials said. He would also display a handgun. Police were aided in their investigation by footage of the robberies captured on bank security cameras and a witness report in February of Wierzchowicz’s out-of-state license plate number as he was pulling out of the Comerica Bank in Los Gatos.

Los Gatos-Monte Sereno dispatchers determined the license plate was issued in Colorado. Then on April 11, the Department of Motor Vehicles notified detectives that the suspect vehicle, a blue Volvo, had been sold to a wrecking yard in San Jose. Detectives tracked the car to Wierzchowicz and then, through witness identification, determined he was the suspect in the robberies. Wierzchowicz is being held at Santa Clara County Jail on suspicion of multiple armed robberies.

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