WestAmerica Bank in Hanford was robbed Thursday and a man is in custody after he reportedly passed a note demanding money in a teller's drawer and prompted the trigger of a silent hold-up alarm.

At 9:08 a.m. Hanford Police officers were dispatched to the bank on Lacey Boulevard where employees reported a man had just been inside and passed a note demanding the money in the drawer. The teller, fearing for her safety, turned over the money and the man exited on foot, according to officials.

Officers searching the area located 44-year-old Joe Montenegro, from Holtville, a short distance away who matched the description given of the suspect.

Montenegro reportedly had several thousand dollars in cash from the bank and was later positively identified by witnesses, stated officials.

All money was returned to the bank and Montenegro was booked into Kings County jail on outstanding warrants and a robbery charge.

Montenegro may be involved in similar cases outside of Kings County, according to officials.

Anyone with further information on this case or similar cases can contact Detective Aguayo at 559-707-1323.


Makenzie Rankin is a general assignment reporter for the Hanford Sentinel. If you would like to talk to Makenzie about a story idea, contact her at mrankin@hanfordsentinel.com.

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