Tuesday, 10 October 2006 01:34

Robbery Suspect Back In State Prison

ResendezFBI agents conducted a search in Oakdale last week, looking for any evidence linking Joe Luis Resendez Jr., 38, to six bank robberies over the last year, including three in Calaveras and Tuolumne counties. Resendez was arrested Sept. 28 after Calaveras County Sheriff's deputies chased him into the Jackson area following a robbery at the Umpqua Bank in Valley Springs. According to the Union Democrat FBI spokeswoman Karen Ernst would not say what agents were looking for or whether any new evidence was found when Resendez's house was searched Wednesday.

FBI Spokeswoman Karen ErnstResendez, already a convicted felon on parole, has now been taken back to a state prison after a stay in the Calaveras County Jail after his arrest. "He has not been charged with anything yet, but it appears he will be prosecuted in federal court," Ernst said. Bank robbery is a federal crime if the bank that is robbed is a member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, according to U.S. law. Resendez is suspected of robbing six FDIC banks of an undisclosed amount of cash in the last year. Banks were robbed in Sonora, San Andreas and South Lake Tahoe in September 2005. Three more banks, in Folsom, Lockeford and Valley Springs, were robbed last month. In each case, bank cameras showed a burly man, with dark hair, mustache and wearing a ball cap, threatening tellers with violence if they did not comply with his request for money. In each case the suspect possibly had a gun in his shirt pocket. Resendez fits the description of the suspect. Ernst declined to comment on whether Resendes confessed to any or all of the robberies but said agents were "confident" they have the right man. FBI agents had posted photos of a suspect from the 2005 robberies in several newspapers throughout the Mother Lode and South Lake Tahoe in an effort to find the suspect. Until last month's robberies, FBI officials had labeled the case as "cold" or inactive. The Union Democrat contributed to this story.