Santa Rosa police look for links between armored car robberies
Published: Wednesday, August 24, 2011 at 7:53 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, August 25, 2011 at 10:05 a.m.
Santa Rosa detectives were looking for any possible links between a deadly shoot-out Wednesday during a botched holdup of an armored truck in Contra Costa County and the armed takeover of an armored car facility in west Santa Rosa earlier this month.
A $100,000 reward remained for information leading to the arrest of two masked thieves who on Aug. 11 followed employees into the Garda Armored Car Service building and made off with an undisclosed amount of cash.
In Contra Costa County, one suspect was dead and a second was wounded in the early morning holdup, officials said. Detectives were examining similarities between the cases, Santa Rosa Sgt. Steve Fraga said.
Shortly after 9 a.m. Wednesday, two men approached the guard of a Loomis truck outside a Wells Fargo Bank at a Pinole shopping center.
During the confrontation, the truck guard and a police officer were also shot. They were expected to survive.
The wounded suspect escaped and was later apprehended when he showed up at a hospital for treatment.
In the Santa Rosa robbery, two masked gunmen slipped in a door behind an armored Garda truck as it pulled into a nondescript building on Northpoint Parkway off Stony Point Road at about 10:45 p.m. on Aug. 11, police said.
The thieves disarmed and bound two employees and forced them to cooperate, Fraga said. They robbed the company of cash and closed a steel door behind them, locking the employees inside, he said.
Detectives declined to say how much money was taken. However police officials noted that the company's reward offer of $100,000 was “a significant amount.”
“We haven't had any takeover robberies of this magnitude in Santa Rosa that we can remember,” Fraga said.
Former Santa Rosa police officer Robert Starling, 35, is serving a 30-year prison sentence for taking more than $500,000 during robberies of armored trucks in Santa Rosa, Sebastopol and Novato between 2007 and 2009.
The maximum amount he took at one time was $440,000 during a holdup outside Montgomery Village's Bank of America in April 2008. However Starling had to leave more than $200,00 of the bulky cash behind, according to court documents.
All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.