April 10, 2013 Reuters
LOS ANGELES - Police arrested five men who sawed into Los Angeles-area banks through the roofs in meticulously planned heists that involved everything from walkie-talkies to matching sneakers and netted a total of $6 million, authorities said on Wednesday.
The arrests capped a year-long investigation of the men, who police say were involved in a scheme that targeted at least four southern California banks since August 2011.
"This is something out of a movie script," Los Angeles Sheriff Lee Baca told reporters. "We're talking about a rooftop serial heist crew. We're talking about a lot of money, about $6 million total."
The men, who had been under surveillance, were nabbed on Friday after they cut a hole in the roof of a Citibank branch in the Southern California city of Diamond Bar, Baca said. They were arrested when they tried to leave the site, police said.
Police said the men worked together as a crew. But the suspects were not each believed to have been present at every one of the four banks that were hit, with different members of the crew working together at various times, said Sheriff's Lieutenant Kent Wegener of the major crimes bureau.
They used power tools to gain access to banks through the roofs and busted into bank vaults, police said.