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Man tries to rob bank, waits in lobby until arrest, police say

November 14, 2012 |  1:54 pm

A 55-year-old man who attempted to rob a Westminster bank Tuesday ended up taking a seat in the branch lobby and waited until authorities arrived and arrested him.

After he was arrested, the man told authorities that he was seeking shelter and medical help, police said.

At 11:12 a.m., a Wells Fargo employee reported a robbery in progress at the bank, said Sgt. Cameron Knauerhaze, a public information officer with the Westminster Police Department.

In an unusual turn, the suspect presented a note to a teller and then walked to the lobby area, apparently waiting for the teller to bring him the cash.

Officers arrived in about a minute and arrested the man, who was later identified as James Lannon of Westminster.

“In most cases with bank robbers and demand notes, the suspect usually engages the teller and asks for money and immediately leaves,” Knauerhaze said. “Time is of the essence in pulling off a bank robbery.”

The suspect told authorities he was seeking shelter and medical aid, said Laura Eimiller, a spokeswoman with the FBI, which responds to all bank robberies.

No one was injured in the incident. Lannon was booked into the Orange County jail on suspicion of robbery and other arrest warrants, according to police.

-- Nicole Santa Cruz