“This is like a movie script,” says Sheriff Lee Baca.
The LA County Sheriff says the script involves a series of bank heists where the suspects used the dark of night along with some of their construction skills and tools to break through the roofs of banks, among the tools…
“A sonar stud finder to assess where the vault was inside the bank property,” said Baca.
“They would bring extra supplies to cover their tracks such as composition roof material so when they removed parts of the roof to assess where the vault was to give the appearance from air that the roof was fully intact.”
The suspects inside the banks also used walkie-talkies to communicate with lookouts outside.
And for a couple of years, things were working out very well.
Starting in 2011, the Sheriff’s department says the bank heist crew had successfully broken into at least 3 banks in the Diamond Bar and Rowland Heights area.
And made off with around $6 million.
Some of that in cash ..some in items taken from safety deposit boxes.
But the party came to an end at a Citibank in Diamond Bar .. last Friday.
After getting a DNA match on one of the suspects from one of the previous heists, detectives began tailing members of the crew.
On Friday ..they followed them to the bank where the sheriff’s department says the crew began the process of cutting through the roof.
After the crew left and before completing the heist, deputies moved in and arrested all 5 men who apparently weren’t all that surprised that they had been caught.
“I guess they assumed it would happen someday, that was kind of the look on their face, I would say,” according to Baca.
Investigators are now trying to see what other crimes they may be responsible for.
–Chip Yost, KTLA News