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January 27th, 2010 by Terry Miller
FEST (Foothill Special Enforcement Team) which includes members of Monrovia, Arcadia, Glendora and West Covina SWAT, arrest Joshua Locateil , 24, who allegedly barricaded himself inside the Citizens Business Bank in the 100 block of East Huntington Drive in Monrovia on Wednesday morning. The suspect was ordered to strip down to his boxers to ensure no explosives were attached to his body. The stand-off lasted more than 4 hours – Photo by Terry Miller
Monrovia resident Joshua Locateil, 24, was arrested and charged with attempted robbery after a four hour stand-off with police at Citizens Business Bank on the corner on Myrtle and Huntington Wednesday afternoon, according to Capt. Jim Hunt of the Monrovia Police Department. Locateil is in custody at the Monrovia Police station.
After his arrest, a robotic device used by the bomb squad was called in according to Capt. Hunt and clothing and a waist pack were determined to be clear and no device was found.
Locateil had allegedly entered the bank around 9.55 AM and placed a note demanding money. The bank was evacuated. The contents of that note have not been disclosed. After surrendering, Locateil was ordered to strip down to ensure there was no device attached to his body.
By 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, the young man who allegedly attempted to rob the Citizen Bank branch in Monrovia was in custody. The suspect was found not to be armed at the time of his arrest, but had claimed earlier that he either had a bomb or had planted one in the bank.
Monrovia P.D.’s Watch Commander, Lt. Mike Lee said that the suspect appeared to be somewhat “limited” intellectually. It appeared to many at the scene that the suspect might have some mental retardation.
According to Monrovia Public Information Officer Dick Singer no bomb was found in the suspect’s backpack or in the preliminary search of the facility. As of 5 p.m. on Wednesday, no explosive devise had been found.
Apparently the suspect slipped a note under the bank door just before the branch was set to open Wednesday morning which said there is an explosive device somewhere inside the bank. That note is now in the possession of the police the contents of which are not yet being released by the FBI.
On Wednesday, Locateil was interviewed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation which has original jurisdiction over bank robberies. According to Watch Sgt. Heath Harvey at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, the F.B.I. was not asserting it jurisdiction and the case was being handled by Monrovia Police.
During the almost five hour standoff with the suspect, Monrovia Police were assisted by other local agencies including the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, the California Highway Patrol and Arcadia Police Department was well as other members of FSET (Foothill Special Enforcement Team) which consists of several agencies in the San Gabriel Valley. Air support came from ARGUS, the sheriff’s helicopter, and from Pasadena Police Department’s chopper.
Several news helicopters also circled the location during the time the suspect was in the bank. At approximately 11:35 a.m. they were advised by the police to pull back from the airspace over the bank with the advisory: “If we have an explosion, I don’t want you guys to get caught up in that.”
The Citizens Bank branch is located at 100 East Huntington Drive, Monrovia. Myrtle Avenue was closed off by police from Huntington Drive to the north and East Central Ave. to the south, just north of the I-210 freeway during the incident. Police also issued an order not to allow any pedestrian traffic along the north or south side of Huntington Drive.
Mt. Sierra College which is located on the north side of Huntington Drive directly across the street from the bank was evacuated during the standoff, but individuals were allowed to return after 3 p.m. According to Singer, traffic was also allowed to resume by that time.
John Stephens, Susan Motander and Terry Miller contributed to this story.