Authorities are investigating a bank robbery in Capitola late Thursday morning that may have been planned to happen during the memorial for fallen Santa Cruz police detectives Sergeant Loran "Butch" Baker and Officer Elizabeth Butler.
According to the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Department, the robbery happened around 11:35 a.m. at the Bank of the West branch at 3820 Capitola Road. Authorities said that a group of three armed men dressed in black with their faces covered entered the bank and demanded cash.
The suspects made off with an undisclosed amount of cash, leaving the scene in a smaller SUV with a getaway driver who was apparently waiting outside.
A similar vehicle was later found not far from the crime scene, but police have not confirmed that the car was the suspect vehicle used during the robbery.
Authorities said that they believe the robbery was timed to coincide with the memorial for the two slain Santa Cruz police officers being held in San Jose Thursday where many of the region's law enforcement personnel were gathered.
"I think they took advantage of the law enforcement community trying to honor our fallen brother and sister, said Capitola Police Sgt. Marquis Booth.
Police did not have any suspect descriptions beyond the three armed men who entered the bank being male and wearing black clothing.
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