Detective: Informant in Santa Rosa armored car heist wanted reward
Published: Wednesday, October 10, 2012 at 7:35 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, October 11, 2012 at 7:38 a.m.
As three Santa Rosa men plotted a multimillion-dollar armored car heist, police were watching their every move with the help of an inside informant who wore a body wire and hoped to collect a $100,000 reward, a detective testified Wednesday.
Kevin Jensen, a family friend of suspect Monico Dominguez, 39, came forward in time to prevent the planned Aug. 6 robbery of Garda Cash Logistics, Santa Rosa Police Detective Brian Boettger testified.
Jensen got wind of the caper when Dominguez sought his help in stealing an armored car filled with cash and driving it to a safe house, the detective said.
"Dominguez said he had a job for him if he wanted it," Boettger testified.
The Sacramento man turned him down at first. He tipped the FBI after learning Garda was offering the generous reward in exchange for information about a previous heist at its Santa Rosa office, Boettger said.
But authorities persuaded Jensen to go back to Dominguez and pretend to be a partner-in-crime, recording conversations and collecting evidence over two weeks, Boettger said.
With his assistance, police were able to listen to and even watch on hidden video cameras as Jensen and Dominguez cased the Northpoint Parkway warehouse and talked about details of the robbery, Boettger said.
The night of the heist, police staged a fake emergency outside and the scheme was canceled. Dominguez, his nephew Juan Dominguez Jr., 26, and Shawn Geernaert, 33, all of Santa Rosa, were arrested the next day.
"Obviously, we couldn't let the robbery take place," Boettger testified at a preliminary hearing for the men.
The three face stiff prison sentences if convicted of conspiracy, attempted robbery and other charges. They have pleaded not guilty.
Monico Dominguez also is charged with being one of two men who held up the same Garda warehouse last year, making off with about $910,000.
In that incident, two masked and armed men slipped into the warehouse behind an entering armored car late at night, held employees at gunpoint and left with bags of cash, another detective testified.
The second suspect remains at large.
Prosecutors believe Monico Dominguez was planning to strike again this year before he was caught.
Detectives testified his plan was similar to the first robbery, except that he wanted to steal an entire truck, stash it at Geernaert's southwest Santa Rosa cabinet shop and flee to Costa Rica with the money. They hoped to walk away with several million dollars, prosecutors said.
Boettger testified that the elder Dominguez called Geernaert at home minutes before the planned robbery and got a combination to the lock on his gate.
Dominguez then phoned another person and relayed the combination, the detective said.
Geernaert maintains he had no knowledge of any robbery plans. His lawyer, Joe Stogner, has said Geernaert believed he was giving Dominguez access to his shop so that Dominguez could borrow his truck.
The hearing continues Oct. 19.
You can reach Staff Writer Paul Payne at 568-5312 or paul.payne@ pressdemocrat.com.
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