THOUSAND OAKS : 3 Sought in Foiled Robbery at ATM

Ventura County sheriff’s deputies were searching Monday for three men whose robbery attempt at a Thousand Oaks automated teller machine was thwarted when the intended victim turned and ran.

William James Sterhan, 46, of Thousand Oaks foiled the robbery when he fled from a gunman who had approached him at 10 p.m. Sunday at the Bank of America at 1440 N. Moorpark Road, deputies said.

Authorities said Sterhan had begun to use his ATM card at the bank when a man approached him and brandished a revolver. Another man also approached him while a third remained nearby. Sterhan then turned and ran across the parking lot to call deputies from the Sav-On drugstore.

The suspects, who eluded a subsequent search, were described as males from 18 to 25 years old, clean-shaven, weighing from 135 to 150 pounds and standing 5 feet 6 inches to 5 feet 8 inches tall.


On Monday, a still-rattled Sterhan said he knew better than to try to use the teller machine when the parking lot was deserted except for the three men who were standing together a short distance from the teller machine.

“Against my better judgment I went on to use (the teller machine) anyway,” he said. “My better judgment told me to wait until somebody else arrived, and I didn’t. That would be the lesson I learned, if there’s a lesson.”