In single day, man suspected of robbing 1 Orange County bank, failing to rob 4 more before capture

SANTA ANA – On Monday alone, police say, 29-year-old Joseph Perez of Santa Ana robbed one bank and unsuccessfully tried to rob four others in Orange County.

He started off this recent string, authorities said, by robbing another bank on Saturday.

That string ended after 3 p.m. Monday after he entered the Bank of the West, at 3931 S. Bristol St., said Cpl. Anthony Bertagna of the Santa Ana Police Department.

After providing a demand note, the teller gave the suspect an unspecified amount of money along with a hidden tracking device. The suspect left the bank, and police immediately began tracking the signal. An employee had spotted the suspect driving off in a blue Chevy Suburban, Bertagna said.

Police followed the suspect to the back of a restaurant a couple of blocks away and learned that he had ditched the tracking device and fled.

Officers, along with an Orange County Sheriff’s Department’s helicopter, Duke, searched the area and located the suspect walking along Bristol Street, Bertagna said.

“When the suspect saw the officers, he ran westbound across Bristol Street in an attempt to escape,” he said. “The officers pursued him across the street, deployed a Taser, and took him into custody.”

Perez was being held Monday night at the Santa Ana Jail.

According to the FBI and Santa Ana police, Perez is suspected of:

• Robbing the Bank of America, at 3730 South Bristol St. in Santa Ana, at 9:30 a.m. Saturday.

• Attempting to rob a Wells Fargo, bank at 1801 East 17th St. in Santa Ana, at 11:15 a.m. Monday.

• Attempting to rob a Bank of America, at 16192 Harbor Blvd. in Fountain Valley, at 12:05 p.m. Monday

• Attempting to rob a Bank of America, at 2015 W. First St. in Santa Ana, where he allegedly brandished a weapon that authorities would not reveal, at 12:48 p.m. Monday.

• Attempting to rob a Chase Bank, at 3600 S. Bristol St. in Santa Ana, at 2:52 p.m. Monday.

• Robbing the Bank of the West, where the pursuit began that…

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