Ventura County- The Citibank in downtown Thousand Oaks is not exactly “the corner bank” in the classic 1967 Bonnie and Clyde scenario that featured Warren Beatty, Gene Hackman, and Faye Dunaway, where all the perpetrators had to do was drive up, keep the car running, walk in, take the money and then hightail it across the prairie of the Depression-era Texas Panahandle
In spite of the reality that Thousand Oaks is an upscale heavily-developed commercial center completely dependent upon U.S. 101 for ingress and egress, just before noon—in broad daylight, that is—Eric Denmark, 33, Spencer Rondon Thomas, 37, and Khristina Mancilla, 21, saw fit to hit a major bank and attempt a getaway via one of Southern California’s most heavily-trafficked freeways.
According to Ventura County Sheriff Public Information Officer Sgt. Eric Buschow, “two men entered the bank while a woman waited outside for them in a vehicle.” Denmark and Thomas, once inside the air-conditioned confines of this major savings institution, “jumped the counter” and quickly made off with what is described in Buschow’s report to the media only as “an undisclosed amount of cash.”
With Mancilla playing “wheelgirl”, the trio quickly fled the area in a white sedan, all under the watchful eyes of multiple witnesses who were happy to describe the suspects, their vehicle, and the direction of their flight to responding VCSD Deputies. Within minutes, the suspect vehicle was spotted heading southbound on U.S. 101, undoubtedly stuck in the same commuter traffic that plagues all who travel through the area. Multiple agencies were quickly involved in a moving pursuit, with CHP officers ultimately attempting a freeway stop which forced the suspects to attempt further escape down an off ramp leading to Ventura Blvd, an even more heavily trafficked local thoroughfare that commonly moves at walking speed.
Apparently dissatisfied with their chosen route, the trio abandoned their vehicle and attempted to flee on foot. Denmark and Mancilla, the least fleet among them, were promptly apprehended a short distance from their car, while Thomas made good his escape into a nearby storage shed. As there is nothing a good K-9 unit likes better than a game of hide-and-seek, it wasn’t long before Thomas suffered a number of canine bites before being finally taken into custody and found to be in possession of the stolen cash.
All three suspects were transported to Ventura County Jail and booked for felony bank robbery, with bail set at $500,000, proving once again that there is quite a gulf between the escapades of Hollywood bank robbers and the real thing.
Photo: Courtesy Facebook, Warner Bros.
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