A 24-year-old man who attempted to rob a bank in Koreatown last month and then barricaded himself in his vehicle, prompting police to release tear gas into his car, has been taken into federal custody and charged with attempted bank robbery, federal authorities announced Wednesday.  

The attempted robbery and standoff occurred on April 13, in the 2700 block of West Olympic Boulevard. 

The suspect, now identified as Los Angeles resident Oscar Rene Canales, is accused of walking into the Bank of Hope at around 1:30 p.m. and demanding money from two of the bank’s tellers. 

“According to witnesses, Canales threatened to have a gun and reached into his waistband as if to grab a gun,” a news release from the Federal Bureau of Investigation stated.  

When L.A. police arrived at the scene, the 24-year-old was allegedly holding a knife in one hand and an unknown object in his other, while threatening to have a bomb, officials said. 

A SWAT team with the Los Angeles Police Department was called in to assist while nearby residents were evacuated as a precaution.  

  • Koreatown Bank Standoff
  • Koreatown Bank Standoff
  • Los Angeles police vehicles block off the exit of a bank parking lot in Koreatown during a standoff with an armed suspect on April 13, 2023. (KTLA)
  • An armored vehicle is seen parked next to a black sedan believed to be connected with an armed man who entered a Koreatown bank Thursday, April 13, 2023. (KTLA)

After nearly an hour, Canales fled the bank and barricaded himself inside a black sedan. Armored SWAT vehicles moved in on his car and eventually deployed tear gas. When the suspect exited his vehicle, he was taken into custody.  

At Canales’ initial court appearance in United States District Court on April 28, he was taken into federal custody. He is scheduled to appear in court again on May 11.  

Investigators are working to determine whether Canales may be responsible for any additional bank robberies or attempted bank robberies.