Police arrested a man minutes after a robbery at an Irvine bank as employees followed the alleged robber and directed officers to him, authorities said.
Officials were first alerted of trouble when a silent robbery alarm was activated inside the Bank of America at 4500 Barranca Parkway, according to the Irvine Police Department.
An employee soon confirmed by phone that a robbery had just taken place, police said. A man had handed a teller a note demanding money and fled with cash in a clear plastic bag. No weapon was seen.
“Bank employees followed the suspect at a distance as he exited and were able to provide a detailed description,” police said in a written statement. “Officers responded to the area and located a male matching the suspect’s description walking in a business complex across the street from the bank. The male was detained and the
stolen U.S. currency was recovered in the original plastic bag.”
The suspect, later identified as 21-year-old Ryan Ray Staples, had changed clothes before officers arrived, according to police and Orange County booking records. His discarded clothing was found in a trash can near the bank.
Officers arrested Staples without a struggle, police said.
“The Federal Bureau of Investigation believes Staples may be responsible for other bank robberies, both inside and outside of California,” the statement said.
Bail for Staples was set at $100,000 pending his initial court appearance, scheduled for Thursday in Orange County Superior Court. His occupation was listed in booking records as “unemployed.”
Anyone with information was urged to contact Irvine police Detective John Sanders at 949-724-7233.