Close, but no cigar in Mammoth bank robbery case

Mammoth Lakes police said Tuesday they have cleared two suspects in the Aug. 2 heist at Union Bank.

According to an MLPD news release, the first individual was identified by a local resident who, after viewing the surveillance photo, believed it was a local resident.

That person was located a few days later and cleared as a possible suspect.

The second suspect was identified by multiple local residents as a former Mammoth Lakes resident.

"There was sufficient information for an arrest warrant," according to the news release, "and the individual was located in Santa Monica and arrested by the Santa Monica Police Department on August 14 and held for MLPD."

According to the release, two MLPD officers traveled to Santa Monica and transported the warrant suspect back to Mammoth Lakes.

"After further investigation, it was determined that there was sufficient conflicting evidence to release the individual pending further investigation," the MLPD said in the release. "The arrest warrant was withdrawn and he has returned to Southern California."

The bank’s surveillance camera photo was widely distributed through the local media and several local residents identified two different people as the suspect.

"The investigation is continuing," according to the release.

The robbery occurred at 2:45 pm when the suspect entered the bank and passed a note to the teller which stated in both English and Spanish, “ROBBERY.”

The teller handed the cash from her cash drawer to the suspect and activated the silent alarm as he was walking towards the exit.

MLPD officers arrived in less than three minutes but were unable to locate the suspect.

The suspect is described as a white male, between 55-60 years old, 5-9, slender build, white hair covered with a light green baseball cap, checkered white, red, and green long sleeve shirt.

He was clean shaven. No vehicle or weapon was seen.

The Police Department has received many tips from the public. Anyone with information about the suspect is requested to contact the MLPD at 760-934-2011.