Thanks in part to evidence found at a Los Gatos library, Los Gatos and Monte Sereno police on Monday arrested a man suspected of robbing a bank and attempting other bank robberies using fake bombs, police said. Shortly before 5 p.m. Friday, police responded to the Los Gatos Library at 110 E. Main St. Library employees showed police a note that a man had printed out at one of the library’s computer terminals.
The note referenced a bomb threat and robbery or extortion attempt at an undisclosed location, police said. The suspect had reportedly taken one copy of the note but left a second copy in the library’s printer. Officers searched the computer sign-in log and spoke with library employees, and identified Vadim Liotveyzen, 28, as a possible suspect, according to police.
The primary residence for Liotveyzen, according to the library’s records, was an out-of-state address, but a business address on North Santa Cruz Avenue in Los Gatos was listed as an associated address. At about 5:30 p.m., while officers were still at the library, police received reports of a possible bomb threat at a Chase Bank at 400 N. Santa Cruz Ave. The bank manager had received a package with a note attached that demanded $50,000 be dropped off at a specified location or the package, which the letter claimed contained a bomb, would explode.
The attached letter was determined to be the same one that was discovered at the library, according to police. The Santa Clara County sheriff’s bomb squad responded to the bank and examined the device. It turned out to be a brick with wires attached to make it look like an explosive, police said. Responding officers recalled a similar incident that occurred on March 17 in which a man had walked into the Wells Fargo Bank at 150 N. Santa Cruz Ave. with a package and handed the teller a note saying that the package was a bomb that would detonate if the teller did not give him money. During that incident, the teller gave the suspect an undisclosed amount of cash and the man ran away.
The fake bombs in both instances were nearly identical, according to police. Officers were called to that same Wells Fargo Bank at about 2:15 p.m. Saturday in response to reports of a robbery in progress. Bank employees told police that the same man who had robbed the bank on March 17 had walked into the bank but left after making eye contact with the teller he had robbed, police said.
Witnesses to the Wells Fargo bank robbery identified the man who attempted to rob the Chase Bank as the same suspect, police said. Police conducted surveillance of the Pennsylvania Avenue address listed in Liotveyzen’s library information, which officers discovered is the home of his mother. Liotveyzen was arrested around 4 p.m. Monday and was booked into Santa Clara County Jail on suspicion of robbery, attempted robbery, extortion, and making a bomb threat.
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