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Suspect in deadly Stockton bank heist due in court

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Stockton man faces murder, robbery charges in connection with last week's police chase
Police find black sedan believed used in Stockton bank robbery

A Stockton man is scheduled to be arraigned Monday on charges including murder, robbery and kidnapping in connection with a bank robbery and police chase that left two gunmen and a hostage dead, officials said.

Jaime Ramos, 19, is scheduled to appear in a San Joaquin County courthouse Monday afternoon and is being held without bail.

Stockton police say Ramos was one of three men armed with handguns and an assault rifle who held up a Bank of the West branch last week, took three hostages and then led police on a dramatic pursuit across the county while firing hundreds of rounds at officers. Fourteen police cars and several homes and civilian vehicles were peppered with bullets during the incident.

When the chase ended, authorities said, Ramos was taken into custody but his two accomplices, Alex Martinez, 27, and Gilbert Renteria, Jr., 30, were dead. A hostage, Misty Singh, 42, was also killed. Two other women who were taken hostage were wounded during the chase and either jumped or were pushed from the vehicle, police said.

Police said Ramos used Singh as a human shield during the final gun battle but that it was not immediately clear who shot her and when.

The case has rapidly evolved since Wednesday’s robbery. Investigators said it appears the men have done similar heists in the past and that they believe Martinez was involved in a January 31 armed robbery at the same bank branch.

During that robbery, at least two suspects were dropped off, “came in, armed, and then took the money and went out and stole an employee’s car” as their getaway vehicle after taking the keys, said Joe Silva, a spokesman for Stockton police.

“In that case, they did not take a hostage,” Silva said.

Detectives said they are checking into whether the suspects were involved in other nearby bank robberies.

On Friday afternoon, the department announced that investigators found a black sedan that they believe was used to drop the men off at the bank. The driver of that vehicle has not been found, officials said.

Meanwhile, relatives of the slain hostage have called for all police dispatch recordings, video and protocols for shootings to be released in the case. The family members have not indicated that they plan to sue police in connection with Singh's death, but they called for a transparent investigation into the shooting.

Friends and family of Singh marched in her memory over the weekend and set up a makeshift memorial at the bank.

For breaking California news, follow @JosephSerna

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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