Man arrested after bank robbery, car chase | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Man arrested after bank robbery, car chase

A Carson City man was arrested Friday after allegedly robbing the Plumas Bank in Kings Beach, Calif., Thursday morning. Brent Muir, 55, allegedly walked into the bank with a handgun and escaped with an undisclosed amount of cash, driving away in a tan 2008 Chevrolet Impala. Muir then drove to the Sand Harbor area of Lake Tahoe where federal law enforcement officers spotted him and asked Nevada Highway Patrol to stop his vehicle. Muir led Nevada Highway Patrol troopers and deputies from the Douglas County and Carson City sheriff's offices on a short pursuit through parts of South Carson City before stopping his vehicle and fleeing on foot at the corner of California Street and Industrial Park Drive. He was caught and detained by Douglas County sheriff's deputies after a short foot pursuit. Muir was arrested on suspicion of felony eluding, reckless driving and driving without a valid driver's license. A weapon and money was found inside his car, according to the NHP. Charges stemming from the alleged bank robbery are pending further investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Placer County Sheriff's Office. Witnesses or people with more information are asked to call the NHP dispatch center at 775-687-0400. It is case number NHP-140501380.

Suspected bank robber aprehended

Investigators believe they have caught a man who in September robbed Bank of America on Kingsbury Grade. The FBI and other law enforcement agencies suspect Brent David Muir, a 42-year-old from Reno, also robbed a U.S. Bank at Incline Village in November and a Wells Fargo Bank in Sparks in December. A Federal Grand Jury in Reno indicted Muir Feb. 7 for the three bank robberies as well a weapons violation. In all three robberies, the suspect wore a blue Band-Aid across his nose. “The Band-Aid thing was a weak attempt at a disguise,” said FBI spokesman Daron Borst. Borst said he could not discuss how investigators came to suspect Muir of the robberies, but he did say that the indictment accuses the 42-year-old of robbing the banks by force, violence and intimidation. Bank of America was robbed Sept. 26 by a man who passed a teller a note and simulated a weapon. Officers from Reno Police Department and Nevada Highway Patrol arrested Muir Dec. 10 after they spotted his vehicle in Reno and pursued it in a high-speed chase. The chase ended when the motor home the suspect was driving overturned and caught fire. Officers pulled Muir from the fiery wreck. Law enforcement reportedly found a Ruger 9 mm in the motor home. Bank robberies are federal crimes. For each robbery, Muir could be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison. Muir, who has already served time in federal prison for bank robbery, may get additional prison time for being an ex-felon in possession of a gun. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ron Rachow said 12 years is the shortest sentence Muir could get if convicted of that charge. Still at large is a man who on Feb. 2 robbed the branch of El Dorado Savings Bank at Emerald Bay Road. The suspect was wearing sunglasses, a fur-rimmed winter hat and an olive coat when he passed a note demanding money. After reviewing the bank’s surveillance video, investigators said the man is 30- to 40-years-old, 5 feet 8 inches tall and 160 pounds. The FBI and South Lake Tahoe Police are still investigating the case. Anyone with information about the robbery is asked to contact Detective Martin Hewlett of the South Lake Tahoe Police Department at (530) 542-6100 or Special Agent Todd Schliem with the F.B.I. at (530) 542-4140.

Indictment made on area bank robbery

Brent David Muir was indicted Feb. 7 for robbing the Bank of America at 276 Kingsbury Grade. The robbery occurred Sept. 26, 2000. Muir was apprehended by the Nevada Highway Patrol and the Reno Police Department after a high speed chase in Reno on Dec. 10, 2000. An investigation by the FBI led to Muir’s indictment for the Kingsbury robbery and a bank robbery which occurred in Incline Village at US Bank. Muir was being held under suspicion of robbing a Wells Fargo Bank Dec. 2 in Sparks, when the Kingsbury and Incline Village charges were filed. The United States Attorney’s Office in Reno will be prosecuting Muir on the three bank robbery charges in addition to a weapons violation.

Drug arrest made during rape investigation

El Dorado County sheriff’s deputies were invited into a home on Palmira Avenue on Saturday and found 52 grams of illegal mushrooms and more than an ounce of marijuana. Deputies arrested Mark Ilk, 19, of South Lake Tahoe, and Michael Muir, 20, also of South Lake Tahoe, and booked them on suspicion of possessing drugs for sale and for cultivating marijuana. Sgt. Jim Watson said deputies knocked on the front door of a home at the 2500 block of Palmira as part of an investigation into a rape case. A man who lives at the home answered the door and told deputies to come in. Inside the residence, deputies encountered Ilk and Muir, who allowed the deputies to enter a room upstairs. In the room, deputies found mushrooms separated for sales, marijuana and at least one marijuana plant. Ilk and Muir had their bails set at $15,000. They both bailed out of jail shortly before midnight on Saturday.

Arrests made after Wells Fargo robbery

CARSON CITY – For the second time in eight days, Carson City Sheriff’s officers on Monday quickly apprehended a bank robbery suspect. Less than five hours after the Stewart Street Wells Fargo was robbed, a suspect named Mike Smith, 41, was taken into custody at the Carson City Inn, according to Carson Sheriff Ken Furlong. At 9:08 a.m. Monday, Wells Fargo employees set off an alarm after a man walked into the bank, handed the teller a note demanding money, according to the Carson City Sheriff’s Office. Less than a minute later, deputies were at the bank but were unable to locate the suspect. During the search for the robber, one of the people deputies stopped to interview was Smith’s alleged accomplice, Kenneth Young, 44. When law enforcement reviewed the video footage from the bank, a senior FBI agent recognized Young as a possible witness from a robbery at Nevada State Bank in downtown Reno last week. “The senior agent said, ‘That’s the dude from our other one!’” Furlong said. A records check stated Young’s residence was Carson City Inn. When law enforcement went to the Carson City Inn, 1400 N. Carson St., Young was arrested near the hotel. Carson City investigators soon discovered Smith also was staying at the hotel. According to a press release from the sheriff’s office, Smith’s vehicle was located in the parking lot, and it too matched the description of a vehicle used in the Reno area robbery. The area of the motel where Smith was believed to be staying was surrounded around noon, by 2 p.m. Smith was in custody. Search warrants on the two rooms were served Monday afternoon after the Special Weapons and Tactics Team secured them. During the search, evidence was collected that connected Smith and Young to the Wells Fargo robbery. Evidence also was found to help connect the two to the Nevada State Bank robbery, the press release states. Investigators from the Reno Police Department, Carson City Sheriff’s Office and FBI agents continue to investigate. Neither man was booked into Carson City Jail as of 7 p.m. According to Furlong, the suspects are likely to be transported to Washoe County Sheriff’s Office today where they will likely be charged federally. Furlong said he was elated that the second bank robbery in eight days had been solved and a suspect arrested. “We’re two (bank robberies) for two in one week,” Sheriff Ken Furlong said. “It really feels good. There’s no other way to describe it.” Last Monday, the U.S. Bank on Market Street was robbed. Less than two hours after that robbery Thomas Baye was in custody. Investigators found evidence directly relating to that robbery in Baye’s residence.

Libation undermines suspected bank robber

By F.T Norton Tribune News Service CARSON CITY – Within 30 minutes of a bank robbery Wednesday, Carson City sheriff’s deputies arrested a suspect sitting in a nearby bar. Deputies pulled wads of money from the sock and pocket of Paul Pasillas, 46, in the parking lot of Barb’s Y-Not Saloon on Long Street after Carson City Under-sheriff Steve Albertsen found him sitting at the bar. About 4 p.m., a gunman wearing a plaid shirt, white straw hat, big sunglasses and blue jeans entered the First National Bank of Nevada, 1101 N. Carson St., through the west doors and told the teller, “Gimme all your money,” said Lt. Ken Sandage. The bank is about three blocks from the saloon. Albertsen said he was responding to the robbery when a bank employee flagged him down near Long Street to say she’d followed the robber from the bank, but lost him in the neighborhood one block east of Carson Street. While deputies canvassed the neighborhood, Albertsen spoke with an employee sweeping the parking lot of Friends In Service Helping who didn’t see anything. The undersheriff then walked into the saloon and asked the bartender if she’d seen anyone matching the description of the bank robber. The bartender told Albertsen she hadn’t, but she indicated Pasillas had just come in and sat down. Albertsen and Deputy Rudy Hindelang then approached Pasillas. When they patted him down they allegedly found the cash in his sock and pocket. A plaid shirt, among other items, was found in the bathroom, Albertsen said. “We believe we found the gun he may have used on the roof of a building in the neighborhood,” Albertsen said. “And we found evidence in the bathroom to link him to the robbery.” Albertsen said Pasillas will be booked into the Carson City Jail on a charge of robbery. “We’re not sure what other charges will be filed,” he said.

Alleged "Fedora Bandit" in federal custody

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. –¬†Federal prosecutors believe they have caught the bank robber known as the “Fedora Bandit.” U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner announced Wednesday that Carson City resident David Griffith Osborne, 74 was charged with seven felony counts of armed bank robbery Tuesday in relation to the bank robberies throughout the region. One of the alleged robberies was of the Bank of the West at 2160 Lake Tahoe Boulevard on Dec. 22, 2009. Osborne is also charged with a March 9, 2010 robbery of the Bank of the West on Bear Street in Kings Beach. Osborne is in federal custody on unrelated charges, according to a statement from federal prosecutors. It is unknown if he has an attorney. He faces up to 25 years in federal prison for each armed bank robbery. The actual sentence will be determined by court. The case is the product of an investigation by the FBI with the assistance from police departments in Grass Valley, South Lake Tahoe, Gridley, and Paradise; the sheriff’s offices in Placer and Sacramento counties and the Carson City Sheriff’s Office.

Senior robs Wells Fargo bank

CARSON CITY – Carson City deputies and the FBI are looking for a bank robber distinguished, if for nothing else, by his age. The man described as in his late 60s entered the Wells Fargo branch at Musser and Stewart streets less than a block from the Capitol at 3 p.m. He opened a brown briefcase he was carrying to show tellers what they are claiming was a bomb and demanded cash. The man was last seen heading north on foot from the bank. No one was injured in the robbery. FBI agents refused to say how much cash was taken. Sheriff’s deputies just three blocks away on Musser Street arrived in minutes as did more than a half-dozen FBI agents who had been target practicing at the Carson City pistol range. Sheriff Rod Banister said every available officer was scouring the city looking for the bandit who was described as near 6 feet tall but thin at 160 pounds. He is described as gray haired and clean cut with fair skin wearing a maroon shirt and khaki pants. Nevada Highway Patrol officers reported they had talked to someone matching that description in the area near Evergreen Center but that tip failed to pan out. Deputies stopped and questioned another man near the FISH store on North Carson Street who matched the description – including a small brown suitcase. That too turned out to be a false lead. In the hour after the robbery, they followed numerous reports of thin, gray-haired men from Nevada Street on the west to Roop Street on the east and both north and south of the area. At one point, deputies questioned whether the man might be someone who was released from the sheriff’s jail earlier Tuesday. But officers were having no luck finding the bandit. Bank officials and deputies were examining the tapes from video cameras in the bank in hopes of getting a picture of the robber to release to the public. Wells Fargo executives who arrived at the bank declined comment except to say they were very happy none of the employees had been injured in the robbery. Meanwhile, the bank branch was closed down for an audit of the missing cash and forensics work including collecting fingerprints and other evidence that might help identify the robber. The branch was expected to reopen today.

Rookie and a robot thwart bank heist

An off-duty Douglas County jail deputy in line to make a bank deposit foiled a robbery Monday when he overheard a South Lake Tahoe man demanding money from a Wells Fargo teller. Deputy Ignacio Gonzalez, with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Department for just five weeks, told investigators he held suspected bank robber Saul Galicia, 19, at gunpoint inside the bank, located at 2424 S. Carson St. At about 1 p.m., Galicia allegedly directed a bank teller to fill a bag with money, said Detective Bob Motamenpour of the Carson City Sheriff’s Department. “Give me all your money or I’ll blow this (expletive) bank up,” Galicia demanded, according to Motamenpour. Galicia claimed he had a bomb in his backpack and initially balked when the Douglas deputy demanded he get on the ground, but eventually Gonzalez was able to bring Galicia outside and hold him at gunpoint until other deputies arrived. Once Galicia was in handcuffs, he spent the next three hours lying face-down on the sidewalk in front of the bank’s doors, sniper guns trained on him. Employees and customers escaped through the rear doors. About 4 p.m. a Reno Police Department bomb squad member, escorted by a robot, approached Galicia, who remained still for much of the time he was lying there. After the bomb squad officer cut the straps on the backpack, he left the area, and the robot gingerly removed the tan satchel from Galicia’s back. The robot’s claw-topped arm could also be seen removing wires from Galicia’s clothing. When the backpack was removed, Carson City deputies moved in and arrested Galicia to a smatter of applause from onlookers. The backpack was destroyed with a shotgun blast, said Sheriff Ken Furlong. No bomb was found inside, just wire and other harmless items, he said. A BB gun was also found on Galicia, Furlong said. “I’m relieved that (Gonzalez) reacted and the incident did not cause anyone to be harmed,” said Furlong. “Do you take action inside the bank? Do you take action outside the bank? That’s a hard call to make.” Motamenpour said Galicia’s vehicle was impounded a block away. During an interview with investigators, he allegedly said he got the idea to rob a bank from a movie. Southbound Carson Street traffic was stopped at Fairview Drive about 2 p.m. Northbound traffic from Koontz Lane was stopped about an hour later. The highway was reopened about 5 p.m. Galicia is being held in the Carson City Jail on suspicion of felony bank robbery. A judge ordered he be held on $250,000 bail.

Unsafe child seats crushed

MINDEN – There were only 30 child seats in need of crushing on Monday at the Douglas County Transfer Station. But, Douglas County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Mike Biaggini thinks that’s a good sign. “Maybe we’re starting to get all the unsafe seats off the road,” he said. “The program is working.” The crushed seats were exchanged for new seats during the course of the year because they were damaged, too old or had been recalled. Sheriff’s deputies drove the county’s M113A armored personnel carrier, affectionately known as the tank, over the car seats to make sure they never injure a child. State law mandates that children be in safety seats through age 6 or until they weigh 60 pounds. The program is financed through a Nevada Office of Traffic Safety grant from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Biaggini buys $8,000 worth of car seats each year which are stored by Dick Hanson of Gardnerville. The Kiwanis Club of Carson Valley also assists with the inspections. Participants can expect to spend about 30 minutes for the process, depending on the number of technicians available. Subway Sandwiches provides food for the checkpoints. Deputies will be checking seats 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Mothers Of Preschoolers Child Seat Safety Day. The mothers are starting their event at 9 a.m. at Carson Valley Christian Center. Anyone who cannot come out for today’s child seat check is encouraged to contact the sheriff’s office at 782-9905 for an appointment. Seat checks are conducted Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9-11 a.m. and 2-4 p.m. Biaggini said deputies will inspect or install seats.