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COUNTYWIDE : Suspect in 5 Bank Robberies Arrested

An Oxnard man suspected of robbing five Ventura County banks since July was arrested at his home Wednesday without incident, the FBI announced.

Earlier in the day, lone robbers held up two Camarillo financial institutions within a 10-minute period in what investigators believe were separate incidents, the FBI reported.

Shortly after 1 p.m., Ventura police arrested Louie Valenzuela, 29, at his Oxnard residence after an arrest warrant had been issued by a federal magistrate.

Valenzuela is suspected in a series of bank robberies in Oxnard, Ventura and Newbury Park, beginning with branches of American Savings Bank and Bank of A. Levy in Oxnard on July 12.

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He was also identified as the suspect in the robbery of a Bank of America branch in Newbury Park in September, and the November robberies of Ventura branches of Security Pacific and First Interstate banks. The most recent holdup, at First Interstate, occurred Saturday.

Investigators received tips that led them to Valenzuela after a security photograph taken inside American Savings Bank was published in area newspapers, the FBI said.

Federal agents were supposed to accompany Ventura police when they arrested Valenzuela, but the agents were called away to the two Camarillo robberies, FBI Special Agent Gary Auer said.

The first was reported at 11:10 a.m. at a Security Pacific branch at 393 Arneill Road. A man in his mid-30s with a “distinctively pockmarked face” presented a note to a teller demanding money and fled after receiving an undisclosed amount of cash, Auer said.

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No weapon was observed, the FBI said.

Ten minutes later and several miles to the west, a lone male in his late 20s approached a teller at a branch of Home Savings of America at 1100 Paseo Camarillo and presented a demand note, Auer said. Witnesses did not report seeing a weapon.

The suspect escaped with an undisclosed amount of money.

Neither suspect has been identified, Auer said.


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