Three men were arrested in Salinas on Tuesday in connection with two armed bank robberies in San Jose this week. The first robbery occurred at about 2 p.m. on Monday at the Union Bank located at 1700 The Alameda. Police said two masked men entered the bank, took several hundred dollars in cash at gunpoint and then jumped into a waiting vehicle driven by a third suspect.
Then, at about 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, the same suspects robbed roughly $7,000 from a Wells Fargo branch located at 6990 Santa Teresa Blvd. before fleeing on foot, police said. One of the bystanders happened to be Michael Nasser, a former San Jose police officer who is expected to be reinstated to the Police Department on Sunday after he voluntarily left for another law enforcement agency in anticipation of being laid off, according to police. Nasser saw the men fleeing and ran a check on their license plate number. It turned out that the vehicle was registered to a residence on Homestead Avenue in Salinas, police said. Detectives responded to the bank and alerted the Salinas Police Department.
Shortly thereafter, Salinas officers found the suspect vehicle at the Homestead Avenue address and conducted a high-risk car stop. Officers apprehended the suspects and alerted San Jose detectives who responded and took all three suspects into custody. Inside their vehicle, detectives allegedly found evidence implicating the suspects in the robbery, police said.
All three suspects were booked into Santa Clara County Jail on suspicion of armed robbery. The suspects have been identified as Bryan Chavez, 20, of Marina, Jonathan Nathaniel Garcia, 23, and Jose Luis Lemus, 20, both of Salinas. No one was injured in the course of the robberies, police said. Detectives are investigating whether the suspects were involved in additional robberies.
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