LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Two armored truck drivers were arrested Thursday by federal agents on charges they stole more than $1 million in cash from a shipment being transported for Bank of America.
Cesar Yanez, 37, of Fontana and Aldo Esquivel Vega, 28, of Pomona were arrested without incident by the FBI and LAPD, who also found about $85,000 in cash at the home of Yanez when they executed a search warrant, according to U.S. Attorney’s Office spokesman Thom Mrozek.READ MORE: Venice Fight Results In One Dead, One Injured, One Arrested
Jovita Medina Guzman, 39, of San Bernardino was also arrested on suspicion of helping hide and disperse the stolen funds and for being an accessory after the fact.
All three are scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday afternoon in U.S. District Court.
Yanez and Vega were both employed by Loomis on June 27, the day the thefts, according to an indictment, which was returned by a federal grand jury Nov. 7 and unsealed Thursday morning. That day, the two were transporting a multimillion-dollar shipment of cash for Bank of America to an overnight storage facility.
On the way there, they stopped in a restaurant parking lot on West Adams Boulevard, the indictment said. It goes on to say Vega electronically opened the rear doors of the armored car and Yanez removed $1,086,000 in cash, then put it in a trash can that had been left in the parking lot by an as-yet-unidentified person. That unidentified person later picked up the trash can and recovered the stolen money, and Guzman later delivered some of the stolen money to Vega, the indictment said.READ MORE: LAPD Arrests Two Suspects Responsible For Shooting In Watts
“Inside jobs are unusual. We find, generally, that the background checks find that people who usually do this kind of thing aren’t hired by the armored-transport companies. But, again, it’s human nature, and it’s a lot of money, so every once in a while, it does occur,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Justin Rhoades said.
Rhoades said agents retrieved $85,000 of the money when they arrested Yanez, but that still leaves more than a $1 million missing. Anyone with information about the money is asked to call police.
Yanez and Vega have each been charged with bank larceny and conspiracy to commit bank larceny. Yanez and Guzman were charged with possession of bank larceny proceeds, and Guzman also faces a charge as an accessory after the fact to hinder and prevent her co-defendants’ apprehension, trial and punishment.
If convicted, Yanez faces 25 years in federal prison, Vega 15 years, and Guzman could be sentenced to as much as 15 years. Each defendant could also be ordered to pay fines as much as two times the loss suffered by Bank of America.
A restaurant owner on West Adams said the truck drivers often stopped there for lunch. The owner said the day the money disappeared, he spoke with the drivers and asked if they often get robbed.MORE NEWS: Multi-Vehicle Crash In Irwindale Closes Multiple Lanes On 605 Freeway
The driver’s response? “No.”