Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Sgt. Joe Clarke uses yellow crime tape to seal off the Aptos branch of Chase Bank Wednesday after it was robbed by two men. (Photos by Tarmo Hannula/Register-Pajaronian)
APTOS — A trio of brazen robberies in a single week in Capitola and Aptos have police on high alert.
The most brazen of the three occurred Wednesday morning in Aptos. Three men armed with handguns wearing hoodie-style sweatshirts burst into the Chase Bank across the street from the Rancho Del Mar Shopping Center at 7851 Soquel Dr. in Aptos just before 9 a.m., said Sheriff’s deputy April Skalland.
The men ordered everyone in the bank to get down on the floor and then took time to shove some of the bank patrons to the ground, Skalland said.
The men fled on foot with an undisclosed amount of cash. Witnesses were unsure if the men were using a vehicle.
No injuries were reported and no shots were fired.
“They were pretty brazen,” said Skalland. “When armed men start pressing people to the ground, that takes it to another level — that they were pushing people around is very serious.”
On Tuesday at 10:25 a.m., a man walked into Advance America, 1955 41st Ave. near the Capitola Mall, opened a backpack and demanded cash from a clerk, Capitola Police Sgt. Matt Eller said. The suspect allegedly told employees, “Do what I say and no one gets hurt.”
The robber fled the business on foot southbound toward the nearby Burger King with an undisclosed amount of cash, Eller said.
Advance America provides cash advances online and through centers across the United States.
No suspects have been located in that robbery and no injuries were reported.
The suspect is described as a Hispanic male in his mid-20s, 5-feet-7-inches, 160 pounds. He was wearing glasses, a black hoodie sweatshirt with blue trim and blue-and-black gloves.
On April 4 a man approached a teller at Chase Bank on 41st Avenue in Capitola and passed him a note demanding cash. The note also mentioned the use of force. The suspect fled on foot toward 42nd Avenue.
No suspects were located in that 9 a.m. incident, said Capitola Police detective Marquis Booth.
The suspect was described as a white male, about 25, 5-feet-9-inches tall, 165 pounds, slender build, pale skin, with bags under his eyes.
In the Aptos Chase bank robbery, because the suspects were wearing hoods over their heads, there was little description for investigators to go by.
Skalland said investigators are unsure if the crimes are related.
Anyone with information about any of the incidents is urged to contact Capitola Police at 475-4242 or call the anonymous tip line at 475-2791. For matters relating to the Sheriff’s case in Aptos, call 454-2311 or the anonymous tip line, 454-2847.
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bank robbery, Capitola, Aptos, Chase Bank, Festival