News

Woman arrested after spree of bank robberies

Sheriff's Office nabs East Palo Alto resident who they believe robbed nine banks

An East Palo Alto woman who police say took part in at least nine bank robberies over the summer, including one in Palo Alto earlier this month, was arrested on Aug. 3 after investigators traced a finger print from a bank pamphlet back to her.

The Santa Clara County Office of the Sheriff announced Monday that Mary Mapa, 27, was arrested at her home on Aug. 3, one day after she allegedly robbed the Star One Credit Union on El Camino Real in south Palo Alto. During that incident, police said she waited in line, passed a note to the teller and then made off on foot with an undisclosed amount of cash.

According to the Sheriff's Office, the Palo Alto robbery was just the latest incident for Mapa in a spree that began on June 3, when she reportedly robbed the HSBC Bank in Cupertino, an incident in which she allegedly demanded money and brandished a firearm. She has been identified in bank robberies in Livermore, Morgan Hill, Walnut Creek, Napa, Manteca, Sunnyvale and San Mateo.

The breakthrough apparently came after the Sunnyvale robbery, when a crime investigator obtained a finger print from a bank pamphlet that Mapa allegedly handled during that incident. Investigators used the finger print to identify her and issued a warrant for her arrest, according to the Sheriff's Office.

The Sheriff's Office conducted surveillance on Mapa and searched her East Palo Alto home, where they found clothing used during different robberies, a wig, cash from one of the robbed banks and a handgun. She was arrested and booked in the Santa Clara County Main Jail.

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Comments

13 people like this
Posted by Thanks
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 8, 2016 at 8:45 pm

Nice work by our local police!

Someday just the DNA dropped from skin cells of the perps will ID them (no way to stop shedding that)


4 people like this
Posted by Yay!
a resident of Duveneck School
on Aug 8, 2016 at 11:02 pm

Great job, law enforcement!

How did she think a black wig would hide her identity much?


6 people like this
Posted by Sylvia
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 9, 2016 at 12:02 pm

So, it turns out that the bank robber with the wig WAS a woman. Lots of people on an earlier thread swore up and down that it was a man. I didn't think so, based on the feminine looking hand that was also in the picture that was shown.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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