UPDATED 5:19 p.m. MONDAY—A 30-year-old man who is suspected of robbing the Mammoth Lakes Bank of America branch Monday morning, Aug. 26, was identified by police as Ryan Ward of Mammoth Lakes.
Ward was taken into custody after Mammoth Lakes police officers followed a tip.
They found Ward at the Motel 6 in Mammoth, according to Police Chief Dan Watson.
MLPD officers, assisted by deputies of the Mono County Sheriff’s Office, surrounded the room occupied by Ward, Watson said.
"We contacted him by phone and talked him out," said Watson. "He was convinced it was in his best interest to surrender, and he did."
Ward was not armed at the time of his arrest, he said.
Ward will be booked for bank robbery at Mono County Jail.
The investigation is continuing to determine the amount taken in the robbery and its location, he said..
The robbery occurred at around 11 a.m. on Monday.
Ward, who had numerous tattoos on both arms and hands and his neck, fled the scene southbound on Laurel Mountain Road.
Clothes worn during the robbery were soon recovered in the Shady Rest tract of forested land behind Center Street, police said.
According to police, at the time of the robbery, Ward displayed a note declaring a robbery and demanding money.
The note also indicated that he had a gun, although no weapons were seen, police said.
"The suspect obtained a yet to be disclosed amount of cash," according to a news release.
“There were no injuries reported.
A local man, Tony Guerriero, said he had been in the bank at about 11 a.m. and that the man who robbed the bank was ahead of him in line.
He said he did not know that a robbery had occurred until the man had already left the bank and he saw bank employees putting white plastic over the station where the suspect had been.
"They told us all transactions would have to be stopped," he said.
“One of the benefits of a small community is that the police know many people in town," Watson said in a news release Monday. "That includes the criminal element. This local knowledge, coupled with a tip on his whereabouts, resulted in a quick apprehension.”
Watson also acknowledged the investigative skills of Detective Hornbeck, the teamwork, displayed by all personnel involved and the excellent negotiation skills of Sgt. Moscowitz "who very calmly convinced the suspect that he should surrender."
“This had a quick and peaceful resolution as a result of good police work,” he said.
It was the second time in August that a Mammoth Lakes bank has been robbed during daylight hours.
On Friday, Aug. 2, a bank robber hit the Union Bank branch on Old Mammoth Road. He fled the scene as the bank employees triggered the silent alarm.
Police have made no arrests in that case.