Update: Bank Heist Leaves One Hospitalized

Two men hold up the Wells Fargo in French Valley, and one employee is rushed to the hospital.


UPDATE: Details about the search were added at 1:59 p.m. Friday.

A woman was hospitalized after two men held up a bank in French Valley today.

An employee hit the silent alarm at 9:16 a.m. at the , according to sheriff's Lt. Rick Young.

Two men went into the bank with handguns and escaped with bags of cash, according to police and witnesses.

Joseph Sivula, a Winchester resident, was using the ATM outside with his 1-year-old son when the robbery happened.

"I heard the doors fly open, and they (suspects) went running out… they were running fast," he said shortly after the robbery. "They had bags with money flying out of them like something you'd see in the movies."

More than a dozen patrol cars set up a perimeter and swarmed the area while two bloodhounds and a helicopter searched for the suspects.

RELATED: See a gallery of photos from the crime scene.

A bloodhound tracked the suspects' scent up an embankment adjacent to the parking lot to a street, where an escape vehicle may have been parked, said Murrieta Police Officer Travis Shows.

A woman who a witness identified as a bank employee was rushed out on a stretcher and put into an ambulance. Her identity and condition were unavailable as of publication time.

"I saw my friend from the bank getting carried away. That was really sad," said Juli Bullard, an employee at a nearby .

She first heard about the robbery from a panicked customer. "A customer ran in and said, 'Two guys walked into the bank with guns,'" she said.

Roger Hames, an employee of the next to the bank, said he believes he saw the bank get cased last week.

He was on a cigarette break outside the grocery store when he noticed a man walk out of the bank wearing latex gloves and cloth booties over his shoes.

"The only reason you'd wear them is if you're doing surgery, or if you're trying not to leave fingerprints," Hames said. "I had this feeling, I bet this bank gets hit, and look at it now."

Investigators were working on identifying the suspects around 11:30 a.m. today.

"We're still analyzing (surveillance video) stills," Lt. Young said.

They were exploring the possibility the incident could be related to one that happened yesterday in Hemet, though the connection is uncertain, the lieutenant said.

"We haven't been able to make the correlation just yet," he said.

Several other banks were robbed in Temecula last year.

of quietly robbing on Oct. 27. by passing a threatening note to a teller.

The in Redhawk was robbed in April when .

The suspect was later killed in

Another location of the chain on Rancho California Road .

The on Ynez Road was also robbed by a man who passed a note to a teller. He was chased to Menifee and shot several times by officers. .

The investigation is ongoing. Anybody with information was asked to call the Temecula Police Department at 951-696-3000.

-- Maggie Avants contributed to this report.

Brenda April 06, 2012 at 10:41 PM
Yes we do, robberies in general. But here its unusual being a freeway driven City that these last few have been further into town. Most are committed close to freeway for a better chance at getting away.
Timmy Stewart April 06, 2012 at 11:07 PM
I think whom ever is voting on that poll is ridiculous. Temecula does not have a ban robbing problem, also robberies happen everywhere. On top of it all, for those bank robberies mentioned in retrospect they were taken care of. The Temecula Police are probably one of the more "Get stuff done" police departments I've seen. Now in lieu of the actual robbery. It's terrible and I hope these guys get found. They seemed to have this planned out. So I will say in reality, they probably won't be caught if they havent been caught already.
J Carabine April 06, 2012 at 11:25 PM
Maybe Mr Hames, who saw something last week could help look at those tapes?
SPB April 06, 2012 at 11:58 PM
the lady in the picture looks so bummed. Is it bad I kind of chuckled?
JJ Mclure April 08, 2012 at 01:23 PM
more illegals brings more crime
Brenda April 08, 2012 at 04:26 PM
JJ you are so blunt, and I like that, and a part of me believes it. The last several years now that you can get 1 million dollar homes for 500k or LESS has brought in families(yes plural) either renting or buying homes that they normally would not be able to. Have seen many many such things around our neighborhood which used to be close to million dollar homes. Several families live in the one house, several cars, usually one really nice one and a ton of junkers coming and going. Kind of tough when its a culdesac. I wont say how they are dressed, or what color their skins are because everyone will scream racists, but I will say its whites too. I cant say that is why our overall crime seems to be raising, (thinking of all robberies, burglaries, assaults, murders, pedophiles, DUI's, car thefts, bank and other business robberies, etc. the one group doing 31 breakins before caught). I just know 4 years ago and back someone would tell me about their news and I wouldnt have any bad things to share :/ And now everyday we have several. Which doesnt include all the drug activities with kids, students, and in and around the neighborhoods and businesses. ESPECIALLY THE MALL and PARKS. I do believe most if not all the crime is drug driven without a doubt.
Boss Mann April 08, 2012 at 10:11 PM
Crime always rises in bad economic times. The money is insured, but people's lives cannot be replaced. I'm just glad no one died.
Toreck April 10, 2012 at 05:26 PM
Crime stats for Temecula: http://www.cityrating.com/crime-statistics/california/temecula.html
V.W.D.S. April 10, 2012 at 06:00 PM
@Brenda - I've lived in Temecula now for over 10yrs. I've owned property, rented, and again am a homeowner thanks to the low prices that do make it affordable for me to do so again. As a homeowner I absolutely respect my investment (care for the lawns, paint as needed etc) but that said - I definately have a low mtg. payment and recently due to the economy have scaled down to where I do not, any longer, own or drive a new car. As a matter of fact, I sold my 2010 vehicle and bought 3 older autos! All my current autos were manufactured in the 90's. I guess my point is - you are making generalizations about why we have crime and basing it on your assessment:: "Have seen many many such things around our neighborhood which used to be close to million dollar homes. Several families live in the one house, several cars, usually one really nice one and a ton of junkers coming and going. Kind of tough when its a culdesac. "" Yeah, it is tough right now - I actually do have my adult children living in my large house as well. As a family we are pulling together to make sure we all have a roof over our head . I do drive around town and consider how my older car doesn't really fit the 'mold' of what Temecula is all about but I also laugh at all of you driving around forking out the $300+ for your auto payments.
V.W.D.S. April 10, 2012 at 06:02 PM
I also live surrounded by neighbors who have moved in as 'renters'. They are good people. I betcha those that robbed that bank aren't even from Temecula! One thing is for sure though - if you live on a cul-de-sac and you notice different cars coming through at all hours you ought to be notifying the police because that could be cause for concern (drug house) and it IS our responsbility as neighbors to watch out for criminal activity in our area. But don't assume the guy driving the 1980s truck is the guy doing it.


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