Jun 19, 2013 7:26 PM by Keli Moore, KSBY News

Three local bank robberies in one month

Since May 2012, there have been eight bank robberies in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties, according to FBI data.

The most recent occurred Tuesday morning at the Paso Robles Wells Fargo Bank.

According to the FBI, two bank robbery suspects have been caught in the last year and an additional suspect turned himself in just last week. That means only 25% of local robbers have been caught, but the FBI's statistics are a bit different.

They told KSBY, historically 60% of bank robbers pay their dues.

In May of 2012, Golden 1 Credit Union in San Luis Obispo was robbed.

Police say a man used a handgun to order one of the tellers to put cash in a plastic bag. The robber was never found.

In August 2012, police say 42-year-old Phillip Craig Bailey, a parolee, robbed Chase Bank in Santa Maria. The robbery turned into a wild car chase, but later, Bailey was taken into custody and charged with several crimes.

In November 2012, Founder's Bank in Morro Bay was robbed at gunpoint. The robber wasn't caught.

Just a month later, Chase Bank in Santa Barbara was robbed. No one was injured and the robber, again, got away.

Pacific Western Bank in Atascadero was the next target when it was robbed by a woman last February. She too got away with an undisclosed amount of cash.

Recently, on March 25, the Chase Bank in San Luis Obispo was robbed.

Less than two weeks later the Bank of America in Atascadero was the target.

Last week, 32-year-old Steven Celaya of San Luis Obispo, turned himself in at the San Luis Obispo Police Department for both the San Luis Obispo and Atascadero bank robberies. He is now in custody.

The most recent robbery occurred Tuesday when the Wells Fargo is Paso Robles on Sixth and Spring streets was robbed. Witnesses say the robber used a semi-automatic handgun and was able to get away with an undisclosed amount of cash.

The FBI and Paso Robles Police Department are still searching for the robber who was last seen driving a late model Ford Explorer with the partial license plate number of 4JXS or 4JX5.

According to FBI statistics, in 2010 there were no bank robberies in San Luis Obispo County and there were six in Santa Barbra County. In 2011, there were two in San Luis Obispo County and 12 in Santa Barbara County.

Bank holdups have dropped nearly every year since 2003, when about 7,500 robberies were reported nationwide, according to the FBI. They also told KSBY, last year there were 3,870 bank robberies.



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