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Bank of West robbery suspect arrested in jail
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A suspect in the April 26 robbery of the Manteca Bank of the West was arrested Friday afternoon by Manteca Police detectives after learning he was already in custody for the alleged robbery of a bank in Lodi.

Fernando Martinez Duenas is alleged to have used the same clothing and method of operation (MO) in three separate robberies including the Farmers and Merchants Bank in Turlock.

A surveillance camera in the Manteca bank had captured a series of photographs of Duenas as he approached the bank teller reportedly threatening her and  demanding that she hurry giving him an undetermined amount of cash as he simulated a weapon.

Manteca detective Steve Harris said the man, described as a transient, wore a blue shirt and baseball cap.  In a photo lineup he was identified as the robbery by bank employees.

It was on July 6, two months after the Manteca robbery, that the Bank of Agriculture in Lodi was robbed by a lone suspect, Harris said.  The Lodi Police Department sent out a flier describing their suspect hoping other departments would recognize him.  Manteca police crime analyst Linda Silva determined the man fit the same MO and had the same physical description as the Manteca bank robber.

Lodi was credited with developing enough information to track down the suspect in Modesto, Harris said.

Duenas is currently being held in San Joaquin County Jail without bail because of a parole hold against him.

The Manteca detective said he took a recent booking photo of the suspect down to the victimized teller who immediately became visibly upset, he added.

The Turlock bank robbery occurred on May 25 with a suspect matching the same description and with the same method of operation.  Because Turlock detectives believed their suspect had robbed multiple banks they called the FBI into the case.

Harris said when he visited Duenas in the San Joaquin County Jail on Friday he found that the robbery suspect had already pled no contest to the Lodi charges.

Turlock’s Stanislaus County bank robbery charge is expected to lie in wait until San Joaquin County has completed its prosecution in both cases.