4 Banks, 5 Bank Burglars, 6 Million Dollars

DIAMOND BAR–As people grow up, they usually learn that most bank robberies aren’t like the heists depicted in Hollywood fare like Ocean’s Eleven and The Italian Job. But every now and then, life imitates art. According to an LASD press release, five suspects were arrested on April 5th in connection with a string of bank robberies that culminated in the suspects cutting a hole through the roof of a Diamond Bar Citibank in order to commit their latest heist.

Daniel Soto, 36

Dean Andrew Muniz, 45

Alceu John Andreis, 44

Lucian Gabriel Isaia, 32

Laurentiu Penescu, 38

“These are not your typical burglars,” said Lt. Kent Wegener of Sheriff’s Major Crimes Bureau. “They showed some sophistication in their planning and the execution of the actual crime. Our team of detectives worked long and hard to put a stop to their crime series.”

LASD detectives had been following the burglars since August 2011, when they investigated a similar bank robbery. Since their investigation began, detectives believe that the suspects stole an estimated six million dollars over several robberies in the Diamond Bar and Rowland Heights area. After more than a year-and-a-half of investigation, LASD deputies learned firsthand how the suspects maintained their bank job spree.

The group cut a hole in the roof of the Diamond Bar Citibank to gain entry

On the morning of April 5th, the suspects arrived under the cover of darkness at the Diamond Bar Citibank in a van without license plates. They each put on identical uniforms, and brought with them ladders, tools, and hand held radios. While communicating with a lookout below via hand held radio, the suspects climbed to the top of the building using their ladders, and cut a hole through the roof to give them access to the concrete vault below.

Burglary tools, including their ladder, were seized by investigators as evidence

Unlike their previous heists, the suspects’ victory was short lived. After arresting the five suspects involved, LASD deputies found parts of the bank roof, roofing material, gloves, and ski masks in addition to the tools used in the robbery. 38-year-old Laurentiu Penescu of Yucaipa, 32-year-old Lucian Isaia of Beaumont, 44-year-old Alceu Andreis of Banning, 45-year-old Dean Andrew Muniz of Fontana, and 36-year-old Daniel Soto of Riverside were all booked at the Walnut Sheriff’s Station. Each is being held on a $500,000 bail, except for Soto, whose bail has been set at $3 million.

If the evidence at the crime scene wasn’t enough for county prosecutors, the evidence found at the suspects’ residences might be the nail in the coffin. After serving search warrants for seven residences across San Bernardino and Riverside Counties, LASD deputies discovered 12 high end vehicle, a 24 foot power boat, 7 Ducati motorcycles, several firearms, jewelry, and approximately $30,000 in cash. The suspects were arraigned in the Pomona Court on April 9th, where they were charged with burglary, grand theft, conspiracy, and vandalism.

Investigators also found evidence of prior burglaries, including cars, boats, and motorcycles

After arresting the prolific burglars, LASD Sheriff Lee Baca had nothing but praise for the detectives working the case.

“This is a shining example of the hard work and dedication that these detectives do every day,” said Sheriff Baca.

If you have any information about this case, contact LA Sheriff’s Major Crimes Bureau detectives at 562-946-789. Or if you wish to remain Anonymous, call “LA Crime Stoppers” by dialing 800-222-TIPS (8477), texting the letters TIPLA plus your tip to CRIMES (274637), or using the website http://lacrimestoppers.org

The Los Angeles Sheriffs held a press conference regarding this case which is viewable on You Tube: LASD Press Conference

Read More:

Diamond Bar-Walnut Patch: Diamond Bar Burglary Suspects Cut Hole in Roof

sgvtribune.com: Suspects arrested in Diamond Bar, Rowland Heights rooftop bank burglaries

Photos courtesy LA Sheriff, Citibank.

Maleehai Rodriguez contributed to this story

4 Banks, 5 Bank Burglars, 6 Million Dollars was last modified: January 14th, 2019 by admin