FREMONT (CBS SF) – The FBI and local law enforcement officials arrested a Southern California man suspected of robbing five Wells Fargo banks across California, including one in downtown Fremont.
On the afternoon of Oct. 25, Fremont police received a 911 call from a Wells Fargo Bank branch on Paseo Padre Parkway reporting a bank robbery about 10 minutes prior. Officers arrived at the bank but did not locate the suspect. Police learned that the suspect robbed a bank teller with a demand note before fleeing the scene.
The suspect, described as a clean-shaven man between 50 and 60 years old, with short gray hair and a slender build, wore a green and black baseball cap, a white button-down shirt and black cargo pants, police said.
Fremont police Det. Steven Nordseth contacted the Wells Fargo corporate security office. Working together, police and security officials discovered that the suspect in the Fremont bank robbery was wanted in connection with four other Wells Fargo Bank robberies in Southern California.
In one of the Southern California robberies, the suspect vehicle was identified as a black 2018 Nissan Sentra with no license plates.
Nordseth reviewed video footage from community cameras near the scene of the Fremont bank robbery, and saw a Sentra that matched the Southern California suspect vehicle description. It had paper dealership plates from “Mission Hills Nissan” affixed to the vehicle’s rear.
Mission Hills is located near the four Southern California bank robbery locations.
A search warrant requesting the car dealership release the personal information of anyone who purchased a similar vehicle in the last year was issued.
Nordseth reviewed 130 records of people who purchased similar cars from the dealership and after narrowing it down based on age, DMV photographs and surveillance images from the robberies, he identified a possible suspect — Mark Gay, 55, of Granada Hills.
Tracking capabilities on Gay’s vehicle showed that his car was in the immediate area during four of the five bank robberies, including the Fremont robbery.
On Nov. 20, Fremont police detectives, the FBI and the Simi Valley Sheriff’s Office located and arrested Gay in Los Angeles. Evidence collected from Gay’s vehicle corroborated his involvement in the robberies, police said.
According to Fremont police, during a Mirandized interview Gay made a “tearful admission to all of the robberies under investigation.”
Fremont police took Gay into custody and transported him to Alameda County and booked him into Santa Rita Jail on charges of robbery.
Gay’s next court appearance is scheduled for Thursday.
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