LONG BEACH — Police in Long Beach and Redlands, along with the FBI, used technology to track down a bank robbery suspect that escaped on foot with thousands of dollars from Chase Bank in downtown Redlands.
Police said that Watson approached a teller at Chase Bank shortly before 10 a.m., telling her that he had a gun and demanding money. He fled the area, but no car was seen during his escape.
“We call the FBI on all robberies of institutions insured by the FDIC,” said Redlands police spokesman Carl Baker. “They responded and provided information which helped us identify the suspect.”
Transmitting surveillance photos of Watson taken during the holdup, the FBI quickly determined his identity. Through cell phone technology, investigators from other agencies and department personnel were also able to obtain a description of Watson’s vehicle.
“We followed up on it and through our own investigation got a vehicle description which eventually led to the arrest,” Baker said.
Long Beach police located the vehicle at a motel on Pacific Coast Highway, then contacted Redlands police. Officers from the Redlands Multiple Enforcement Team traveled to Long Beach, some 75 miles away, to set up surveillance on the car.
At 9 a.m. on Saturday, authorities served a search warrant at the motel, locating Watson along with clothing that matched the description of those worn during the robbery, plus several thousand dollars in cash.
Watson, whose listed residence was less than five miles from the bank, was arrested without further incident and transported back to Redlands.