A 78-year-old man who on Thursday said he left two suspicious packages in downtown Monterey, prompting police to close streets to traffic, has been arrested in the armed robbery of a bank, Monterey police said today. Sergio Valderrama, of Greenfield, was arrested Thursday night on suspicion of robbery, resisting arrest, carrying a concealed firearm, carrying a loaded firearm with the intent to commit a felony and carrying a loaded firearm in public, police Lt. Leslie Sonne said.
The attempted bank robbery was reported at 12:47 p.m. Thursday at the Bank of America at 200 E. Franklin St. in Monterey, according to city spokeswoman Kim Bui-Burton. Police officers soon captured Valderrama near the intersection of Munras Avenue and Webster Street, where they also found a suspicious package, according to Bui-Burton. After the suspect told police that he had left another package at Washington and Pearl streets, officers closed streets in downtown Monterey and evacuated nearby businesses, according to Bui-Burton.
The Monterey County bomb squad arrived, removed both packages, detonated them and examined the contents, Bui-Burton said. The bomb squad also searched Valderrama’s car, which was parked at the Calle Principal Garage at 468 Calle Principal near West Franklin Street, Bui-Barton said. Nothing suspicious was found in the car, according to Monterey police. Officials have yet to release what was in the suspicious packages or say why they were considered dangerous. Lt. Sonne said that Monterey police and the FBI are continuing to investigate the incident. Valderrama is being held in lieu of $45,000 bail.
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