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Two Area Banks Robbed In 4-Hour Span
Escalon Bank Hit Hours Earlier
Bank Robberies
An Oakdale Police Officer secures the perimeter around Valley First Credit Union on Monday, April 18 after a bank robbery. Hours earlier the BBVA Compass Bank in Escalon had been robbed by a suspect matching the same description. RICHARD PALOMA/ The Leader


The Valley First Credit Union on West F Street in Oakdale was held up shortly before 5 p.m. on Monday, April 18 and the robber made off with an undisclosed amount of cash. The robbery occurred just hours after another bank, the BBVA Compass Bank in the 3300 block of McHenry Avenue in Escalon, was robbed at 12:05 p.m. by a robber matching roughly the same description.

In the Oakdale robbery, police said they were notified of a silent alarm at 4:55 p.m. from the bank and when contacting bank employees, learned the bank had been robbed.

Police surrounded the bank as dispatchers obtained information and determined from those inside that the robber had already left the area.

Witnesses reported to police that the robber was in his 20s, wore a brown hoodie sweatshirt and jeans, and had blonde hair, possibly a wig, that was in a ponytail.

Police contacted a witness outside the bank that said a dye pack went off in the suspect’s face.

Investigators checked local businesses with closed circuit video and discovered the robber may have fled the scene in a gold or brown Honda-type vehicle that fled on Poplar Street.

Escalon Police Chief Mike Borges said the robbery that occurred in his city happened about 12:05 p.m. when an unknown suspect walked into the bank.

“The suspect passed a note demanding money, the clerk complied,” Chief Borges said. “No weapon was seen.”

Chief Borges did not release the amount of money provided but did say that “as the suspect was fleeing it appears a dye pack may have gone off” – which typically leaves a stain on the carrier and some of the cash being taken.

“Two witnesses saw our suspect get into a vehicle and flee; they attempted to follow and get a license plate but they were unable to do so,” explained Borges.

The suspect vehicle in the Escalon robbery was described as a small green Nissan pick-up truck. The driver was described only as a white male in his 30s wearing a white shirt.

“The bank suspect was described as a white male in his early 20s, about 5’11” and 170 pounds,” Borges said of the robber. “He was wearing what appeared to be a bleached blond wig in a pony tail that reached to the top of his shoulders, with a plaid shirt, jeans and a black baseball cap.”

Investigators from both agencies were conducting interviews on Monday afternoon in hopes of developing additional leads. Det. Sgt. Joe Johnson of the Oakdale Police Department said authorities believe the two robberies Monday were related.

“The suspect is possibly the same man who robbed the BBVA bank in Tracy on April 14 and the BBVA bank in Escalon earlier in the day Monday,” Johnson said.