A 44-year-old man is being held on $1 million bail today after his arrest Tuesday on robbery charges following a more than six-hour standoff and evacuation of an apartment complex in Santa Clara, police said. Stephan Samih was booked into the Santa Clara County Jail Tuesday night after giving himself up to police in the aftermath of talks with a crisis negotiator at 9:44 p.m., Santa Clara Police Lt. Matt Hogan said.
Some 20 officers from the Santa Clara and San Jose police departments, including the entire Santa Clara SWAT team, were dispatched to the apartment complex at the 2300 block of Pruneridge Avenue in Santa Clara prior to the arrest, Hogan said.
Samih was taken into custody on robbery charges in connection with a heist at the Bank of the West branch at the 2200 block of Business Circle in San Jose at 2:47 p.m. Tuesday, San Jose Police Officer Albert Morales said. After the suspect left the bank with an undisclosed amount of money, San Jose police were able to track him to the address of the apartment complex on Pruneridge in Santa Clara. San Jose police requested assistance shortly after 3 p.m. and Santa Clara police sent its SWAT team and other officers to the complex, where they started to escort residents away for their safety, Hogan said.
“Evacuations were conducted of the residents of the complex and they were successfully taken out of harm’s way,” Hogan said. “Once that was done, our SWAT team worked with our crisis negotiator,” he said. The negotiator kept in contact by telephone with the suspect, who finally surrendered to police at 9:44 p.m., about seven hours after the robbery, Hogan said. Samih’s bail was set at $1 million, according to the county jail.