Margo Rohrbacher, PIO
Date: December 11, 2013 6:05 PM
San Rafael, CA – December 11, 2013. The suspect in a Novato bank robbery was shot by police this morning after fleeing from a deputy, crashing his car, and then confronting officers with a handgun.
Shortly after 9:00 a.m. a Novato branch of Bank of the West at 1313 Grant Avenue was robbed. Witnesses provided a description of both the suspect and his getaway vehicle. Novato Police issued a countywide alert for a silver Saturn and officers throughout the area went to their pre-designated roadblock positions. At 9:34 a.m. a Marin County Sheriff’s deputy saw a silver Saturn with one occupant driving south on Highway 101. The deputy attempted to make a traffic stop on the car, but the driver refused to yield and instead sped away, exiting the freeway at Lincoln Avenue. The suspect vehicle fled north and made its way onto Las Gallinas Avenue. The suspect was involved in a minor traffic collision in the 600 block of Las Gallinas, got out of his car and ran across the street with a gun in his hand. He confronted the deputy, who then fired his service weapon at the suspect, wounding him. The suspect was treated and transported by San Rafael Fire Department paramedics to Marin General Hospital.
At this time suspect’s injuries are not considered life threatening. As of 2:30 p.m. today, he was out of surgery and in recovery. No citizens or officers were injured.
The deputy involved is a 7 ½ year veteran of the Marin County Sheriff’s Office. He is on paid administrative leave, which is standard under the Sheriff’s Office Officer Involved Shooting protocol.
Several blocks of Las Gallinas Avenue were shut down while investigators gathered evidence at the scene. The area was reopened by 4 p.m.
SRPD, Novato Police, and the FBI are working together on the bank robbery and the officer involved shooting investigations. One line of inquiry will be to determine if the suspect is the so-called “Cotton Ball Bandit”, deemed responsible for a series of Marin bank robberies that began almost exactly one year ago.
Anyone with information about this crime is asked to call San Rafael Police at (415) 485-3000 or Crime Stoppers at (800) 222.8477. This phone number will accommodate all languages. Callers can remain anonymous and may earn a possible reward. Tips can be made online at www.bayareacrimestoppers.org.
Information can also be provided by using the SRPD Silent Witness tip form available at http://www.srpd.org/tips.