Bank Robber Nabbed at Starbucks Reading Newspaper

Within 25 minutes of 911 call, quick work by department reaps results.

How about a cup of coffee with those handcuffs?

A transient Southern California man who robbed a downtown bank this morning has been arrested by Officers after they spotted him reading the newspaper at a local Starbucks, the department announced today.

The arrest of Lawrence Petitta, 53, occurred within 25 minutes of the robbery, according to MVPD Spokeswoman Liz Wylie.

In a written statement, Wylie explained that at 9:09 a.m. Friday morning, an employee of the on 700 E. El Camino Real called 911 to report a bank robbery. The suspect had allegedly approached a teller "demanded money and claimed to have a gun." No gun was seen. The teller gave the suspect $1,100 and the suspect fled.

Around 25 minutes later, a detective observed a man reading a newspaper inside the 's on Castro Street that matched the suspect's description. Some of the clothing looked different however.

When the suspect went into the bathroom, officers evacuated the store of customers and staff. The suspect came out of the bathroom with "an entirely different outfit and had shaved his facial hair," Wylie said.

Officers detained Petitta and a positive identification was made by bank employees. Officers located and recovered the $1,100 and the suspect's clothing in the restroom trash can.

Pettita has been charged with robbery and will be booked into the county jail.


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