Recently there has been a rash of bank robberies across northern California in San Mateo, Lake, Marin, and Sonoma Counties. On Friday March 29, it was revealed that a warrant has been obtained by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office for a 23-year-old suspect in the robberies, Joshua James Metoxen. Metoxen, a resident of American Canyon, is suspected in connection with a string of bank robberies in the area recently, as well as six unsolved cases.
The warrant issued for Metoxen is specifically related to robberies that have occurred at two Middletown banks within an eight day time span in February and March at Westamerica Bank and Tri Counties Bank. The warrant was issued just days after the Westamerica Bank in Strawberry Village was robbed. After reviewing surveillance footage, authorities at the Marin County Sheriff’s Office believe that the suspect in this incident is the same man who robbed banks in Novato, Rohnert Park, and Santa Rosa.
According to a news article at the San Mateo Patch, the Mill Valley robbery was the fourth time this year that a Westamerica Bank branch has been robbed. All three previous Westamerica Bank branch robberies occurred in January; in all three incidents, the suspect fled on foot and no mention of a weapon was made.
The last sighting of the suspect was on March 13 when according to Sheriff’s Lt. Jamie Scardina a man walked into the Mill Valley branch of the Westamerica Bank located at 1222 Redwood Hwy, handed a note to a teller, and walked away with an undisclosed sum of money. The suspect was last seen getting into a tan Honda and heading in a southbound direction on Redwood Highway. Witnesses say he was wearing tan shorts, a black sweatshirt, sunglasses, and a SanFrancisco 49er’s hat in red and black. He is described as having hazel eyes and black hair, standing approximately 5’11” tall and weighing 250 pounds.
Authorities warned the public that Metoxen should not be approached, and that he is considered armed and dangerous.
Because banks are federally insured, bank robbery is a crime which is prosecuted at the federal level. San Mateo robbery attorneys know that individuals who are convicted of this criminal offense will face harsh penalties if convicted. The fact that it is considered a federal offense alone means that the penalties the defendant is subject to will be more severe than penalties generally handed down for robbing a residential home or retail establishment. Some of these penalties may include prison time, probation, substantial fines and a permanent criminal record.
Individuals who have been accused of or arrested for bank robbery must obtain the services of a seasoned and aggressive San Mateo criminal defense lawyer who will review your case and determine the most effective legal strategy.