Even when it was over, Buena Park Police Detective Chuck Presley couldn't believe it. . . .
With his partner, Detective Cory Sianez, he went to Anaheim on Monday to check out a tip that a lawn edger and other equipment stolen from a Sears repair center might be found at a certain house on Glenoaks Avenue.
They found the house--and spotted two men unloading a lawn edger from a car. So they stopped.
Sianez took one of the men aside and Presley took the other.
But as soon as Presley showed his badge, he said, the man blurted, "Oh boy, am I in trouble!" and spread-eagled himself against the car. Nonplussed, Presley searched him--and found wads of cash in one pocket.
"What did you do?" Presley inquired.
"The car's stolen, and I stole it," Presley quoted the man, later identified as Michael Bruce Young, 38, as saying.
Car Was Stolen
A radio check showed the car was, indeed, stolen. So Presley handcuffed Young, called for a tow truck, and while they waited, asked, "What's the money for, to buy drugs?"
"No," Young told him. "I just robbed the Downey Savings & Loan down by the freeway."
Presley radioed a query to police in Fountain Valley, where the savings and loan branch is located and, yes, that office had been robbed about 30 minutes earlier.
Presley asked for a description and was told that the bandit had a four-inch revolver, dark glasses and a yellow bandanna over his face. Presley glanced into the stolen car and saw a four-inch toy revolver, dark glasses and a yellow bandanna on the front seat--and more money, bringing the total to $3,489.
Young, of the City of Commerce, was booked on suspicion of bank robbery. The second man was released after questioning.
Authorities said a check of Young's record showed bank robbery arrests dating back to 1973.
At the Buena Park police station, Presley said Young asked that someone notify the FBI, because he had robbed several other banks throughout Orange County and wanted to tell them about it.
Presley said Young told that him he thought he'd been set up.
"He's only 50% convinced now that he wasn't," the detective said. "I've never had an easier cop-out. Somebody cops out before you know it happened. . . . That's different!"