General Crime

Benjamin Matthew Kairalla Arrested In Connection With Two 2013 Bank Robberies

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A man already in police custody in Florida was arrested last week in connection with two 2013 robberies that occurred at the same Bank of the West branch in San Ramon, a police lieutenant said today.

Benjamin Matthew Kairalla, 35, of Loxahatchee, Florida, was arrested after a fingerprint match and surveillance footage linked him to the robberies, San Ramon police Lt. Tom LaRocque said.

San Ramon police detectives traveled to Florida on Jan. 8 to interview Kairalla, who was already in custody there on five drug-related warrants, LaRocque said.

During the interview, Kairalla confessed to robbing the Bank of the West at 140 Sunset Drive on July 1, 2013, and then again on Dec. 6, 2013, according to LaRocque.

After the July robbery, investigators lifted a fingerprint from inside the bank where the suspect had opened the door.

In that robbery, the suspect walked into the branch shortly before 1 p.m. and gave a teller a handwritten note demanding cash. The teller turned over an undisclosed amount of cash to the robber, who then fled on foot.

The suspect was described as a white man between 25 and 30 years old, standing about 6 feet 2 inches tall, with a medium build.

He was reportedly wearing a black-and-white baseball cap, a black nylon jacket, a purple dress shirt, a black tie, gray pants and dark-colored dress shoes, police said.

In the Dec. 6, 2013 robbery, the suspect entered the bank at 2:55 p.m. and also handed the teller a note demanding cash before fleeing with the money, LaRocque said.

Detectives reviewed surveillance footage of the second robbery and determined that the suspects in both robberies appeared to be the same person.

In December, detectives were able to match Kairalla to the fingerprint lifted from the scene of the July robbery, according to LaRocque.

Following Kairalla’s confession, he was arrested on two counts of robbery with enhancements, police said. His bail was set at $100,000, and the FBI was contacted to handle the case, according to LaRocque.

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