Loomis Armored Transport Drivers Arrested in Plot to Steal More Than $1 Million Being Transported for Federally Insured Bank
LOS ANGELES—Two armored truck drivers for Loomis were arrested this morning on federal charges related to a scheme in which they stole more than $1 million in cash, part of a shipment that was being transported for Bank of America.
Cesar Yanez, 37, of Fontana, and Aldo Esquivel Vega, 28, of Pomona, were arrested this morning without incident by special agents with the FBI and officers with the Los Angeles Police Department. In relation to search warrants executed this morning, agents found approximately $85,000 in cash at the home of Yanez.
A third person involved in the scheme, Jovita Medina Guzman, 39, of San Bernardino, was also arrested this morning for helping her co-defendants hide and disperse the stolen funds and for being an accessory after the fact.
All three defendants are expected to be arraigned on a four-count indictment this afternoon in United States District Court.
The indictment, which was returned by a federal grand jury on November 7 and unsealed this morning, alleges that Yanez and Vega, while employed by Loomis on June 27, were transporting a multi-million dollar shipment of cash for Bank of America when they stopped in a parking lot on West Adams Boulevard. Vega electronically opened the rear doors of the armored car, which allowed Yanez to access the cash storage area of the vehicle. Yanez removed $1,086,000 in cash from the armored car and placed it into a trash can that had been left in the parking by an as-yet-unidentified person, who later picked up the trash can and recovered the stolen money. Later, Guzman allegedly delivered some of the stolen money to Vega.
Yanez and Vega are each charged with conspiracy to commit bank larceny and bank larceny. Additionally, Yanez and Guzman are charged with Possession of Bank Larceny Proceeds, and Guzman is charged as an accessory after the fact to hinder and prevent her co-defendants’ apprehension, trial, and punishment.
An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent until proven guilty in court.
If they are convicted of the offenses alleged in the indictment, Yanez would face a statutory maximum sentence of 25 years in federal prison; Vega would face up to 15 years; and Guzman could be sentenced to as much as 15 years in custody. Additionally, each of the defendants could be ordered to pay fines of as much as two times the loss suffered by Bank of America.
The investigation into the theft of bank funds was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Los Angeles Police Department.