A man who allegedly robbed a Pinole bank earlier this month and was initially released from jail due to a miscommunication between police and the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office is back behind bars. FBI officials said 22-year-old Gary C. Fite, Jr. was located near the intersection of Humboldt and Tennessee streets in Vallejo around 10:30 a.m. thanks to a tip from the public. Officers from the FBI, Pinole and Vallejo police, the Contra Costa County sheriff’s and district attorney’s offices worked to locate and safely arrest Fite, police said.
He was booked into county jail in Martinez for the second time this month, where he is being held without bail. The 22-year-old was wanted on a federal warrant after he was mistakenly released from Contra Costa County Jail in Martinez on March 5, according to police. The arrests stem from an incident around 4:30 p.m. on March 1 at the Mechanics Bank at 2690 Pinole Valley Road. During the robbery, Fite allegedly jumped over a bank counter, held a gun to a teller’s head, demanded money and made off with a large amount of cash from the drawer.
Pinole police arrested both Fite and a getaway driver, identified as 37-year-old Regina Dean of Antioch, later that day after a brief low-speed car chase. The stolen money and the gun used in the robbery were recovered from the car, police said. Police said both suspects were booked into county jail in Martinez around 4:55 p.m. that day. Contra Costa County prosecutors discussed the case on March 4 and notified police that they would file charges against Fite and Dean. Suspects must be released if they have not been charged within a certain window of time after their arrest.
However, there was confusion between police investigators and the district attorney’s office over whether charges needed to be filed by March 5 or March 6. Since charges were not filed by the deadline at 5 p.m. March 5, the pair was released as required by law, sheriff’s spokesman Jimmy Lee said. After realizing the mistake, the district attorney’s office issued warrants for both suspects. Dean was located and arrested later that night, while Fite remained at large until this morning. Dean, who was wanted on another warrant in connection with a separate crime, has since been released after posting $40,000 bail, Lee said.
The pair was charged with bank robbery in federal court in Oakland on March 8, and the FBI issued a federal arrest warrant for Fite, leading to his arrest today, according to FBI spokeswoman Julianne Sohn. Fite’s most recent addresses were listed in Oakland and Vallejo, but he also has ties to Antioch and Reno, Nev., according to police. He is scheduled to appear in federal court in Oakland Wednesday morning.
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