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Police Seek Armed Robbery Suspects; Victim Says $40K in Cash Taken in Heist

EL CENTRO — Police are seeking a pair of armed male suspects who robbed what one victim said was $40,000 in cash from two individuals servicing an ATM in the 2000 block of North Imperial Avenue here Thursday afternoon, Jan. 14.

The two suspects are alleged to have approached the victims with firearms drawn and demanded money, according to a Friday, Jan. 15, press release from the El Centro Police Department. Both victims complied and neither was injured during the incident, which was reported to police around 2:22 p.m. Thursday.

Police have not disclosed how much cash was taken in the robbery or revealed the exact location of the alleged crime, but the department’s call logs indicate the incident took place at the drive-up Wells Fargo automated teller machine at 2050 N. Imperial Ave., which is adjacent to a BankofAmerica ATM, as well.

One of the alleged victims, an employee of the bank, reportedly told responding officers that the suspects made off with $40,000 in cash, according to the call logs.

After the robbery, the El Centro police press release states, the suspects fled the area in two vehicles, both of which have been recovered as evidence. The suspects have not been located and remained at large as of the Friday morning, Jan. 15.

Following the incident, authorities reportedly served a search warrant at an apartment in the 400 block of Wall Road in Imperial, the press release stated.

The execution of the search warrant was conducted by ECPD detectives, assisted by the department’s Special Weapons and Tactics Team, Imperial County Narcotics Task Force, Imperial Police Department, and the Imperial County Sheriff’s Department.

One of the suspects was described as an adult Hispanic male, about 35 years old, about 5 feet 11 inches tall, with a medium build who was wearing a dark multi-colored mask, a blue short-sleeved shirt with blue pants and had brandished a silver handgun, the call logs stated.

The second suspect was described as an adult Hispanic male, about 20 years old, about 5 feet 11 inches tall, wearing a white mask, black jacket, blue pants and holding a black bag, the call logs stated.

The suspects reportedly left the scene together in a white van driven by the older suspect, according to the logs.

The alleged victims also reported observing a dark Hummer SUV at the scene of the robbery with two Hispanic women inside and who appeared to be involved, the call logs stated.

The Hummer was reportedly recovered unoccupied at the Walmart parking lot about 2:45 p.m. The officer who discovered the suspect vehicle also reported locating a 12-gauge shotgun at the scene, according to the ECPD call logs.

Dispatch logs suggest responding police were able to review Walmart surveillance footage.  

The occupants of the Hummer were described as Hispanic females, one having red hair, about 5 feet 5 inches tall, weighing about 260 pounds and last seen wearing a black sweater and black pants, the call logs stated.

The second female suspect was described as having brown hair, about 5 feet 5 inches tall, weighing about 160 pounds and last wearing a red sweater and blue jeans, the call logs stated. The women were last seen leaving the area on foot.

The white van was reportedly recovered at the Wall Road location where authorities conducted a search for the suspects, the call logs stated, adding that the van was reported stolen by Imperial police at a prior date.

Anyone with information regarding this investigation is encouraged to call the El Centro Police Department Investigation Bureau, Detective Jeff Malcomb, at 760-335-3661 or 760-337-4502.

The ATM armed robbery was believed to be at a Wells Fargo drive-through machine (red circle) just inside the entrance to a shopping area near Aldi grocery story off North Imperial Avenue south of Cruickshank Drive in El Centro. | GOOGLE MAP
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