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71-year-old ‘serial bank robber’ arrested in connection with $60,000 robbery of Sun Valley bank

Security video of a robbery on Dec. 21, 2023, at a bank in the 8000 block of Vineland Avenue in Sun Valley. (Los Angeles Police Department/TNS)

A 71-year-old man with four convictions for bank robbery under his belt was arrested last month in connection with a new heist: a $60,000 bank robbery in Sun Valley, the Los Angeles Police Department announced Tuesday.

Bruce Edward Bell was arrested on Dec. 21 following the reported robbery at a bank in the 8000 block of Vineland Ave.

Police allege that Bell entered the bank and pointed a gun at an employee, demanding that they open a door to a restricted area.

A photo of the incident shared by the LAPD shows a person wearing a black mask, sunglasses, beanie and gloves pointing a gun at another person.

The LAPD alleged that Bell threatened to shoot the employee if they did not comply, and eventually gained access to the room. There, police allege, the 71-year-old ordered a second employee to fill a bag with cash.

Police accuse Bell of leaving the bank with more than $60,000 and driving away in a sedan.

Witnesses reported the vehicle to police, who located one in the Foothill Division that matched the description. Officers stopped the car and arrested Bell on suspicion of kidnapping.

Inside the vehicle, police say, they found a replica firearm and $64,000 in cash.

Bell was on supervised release at the time of his arrest, having been released from federal prison in July 2021, according to the LAPD. He had served more than 40 years in prison.

LAPD investigators “believe there are other victims of robbery by Bell who have yet to be identified,” the department said in a release.


© 2024 Los Angeles Times

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