A homeless man from Southern California suspected of robbing a bank was arrested at a Mountain View Starbucks this morning, where police found him lounging almost half an hour after the robbery a few blocks away. Officers arrested Lawrence Petitta, 53, on suspicion of stealing $1,100 from California Bank and Trust at 700 West El Camino Real.
An employee at the bank reported the robbery around 9:10 a.m. Witnesses told police Petitta approached a teller, claimed he had a gun, though no one saw it, and demanded money. After taking the money, he fled, but detectives found him 25 minutes later at a Starbucks around the corner reading a newspaper, wearing different clothes than witnesses had described.
While Petitta was in the bathroom at Starbucks, officers evacuated the cafi. When he came out, he had shaved his facial hair and was wearing a different outfit. They arrested him after bank employees identified him as the suspect. The stolen money was recovered, and the clothes he had worn during the robbery were found in the restroom trashcan. Although he is from Southern California, police said Petitta is known to frequent the Marin County area.
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