At about 12 p.m. Wednesday, Bakersfield Police officers Whaley and Mansker were sent to the Bank of America at 4480 Coffee Rd. regarding an individual attempting to pass a stolen check.
The check was stolen during a vehicle burglary that occurred on July 7, detectives said.
Officers said they contacted 30-year-old Adalberto Bravo of Bakersfield, who was at the counter passing the suspected stolen check and Jose Lara, 40, of Bakersfield who was seated inside the bank.
Bank employees told officers that it appeared as if Bravo and Lara were together.
Officers said they found a vehicle in the parking lot containing evidence linking both Bravo and Lara to the vehicle.
The vehicle had been reported stolen to the BPD on July 5, and was equipped with stolen license plates from another offense, detectives said.
Evidence located in the vehicle also linked Bravo and Lara to a purse snatch robbery that occurred on July 4, 2014, at the Econolodge on Oak St. and a vehicle burglary that occurred earlier in the day on July 9, 2014, detectives said.
Detectives were called to the scene to conduct further investigation.
After officers left the bank, employees re-contacted and told officers they had reviewed video surveillance in the bank and observed Lara remove something from his pocket and conceal it in the cushions of the couch he was seated on when officers initially arrived at the bank, detectives said.
An officer responded and recovered a syringe and two baggies containing what the officer believed to be methamphetamine.
Bravo and Lara were arrested for Forgery, Vehicle Burglary, Grand Theft Auto, Robbery and additional charges and booked into the Kern County Jail. It’s likely that additional charges will be forthcoming.
Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to call Detective Craig Checklenis at (661) 326-3907 or the Bakersfield Police Department at (661) 327-7111.
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