Oak View Rabobank Robbers Arrested
12/15/2016 7:05:00 PM
Nature of Incident:
Arrests made in Rabobank bank robberies
16-119818 / 16-133065
410 N. Ventura Avenue, Oak View
Date & Time:
08-09-16 / 09-02-16
Sheriff's Major Crimes Bureau; Ojai Valley Patrol; Ojai Valley Detectives; Federal Bureau of Investigation
(S)uspects, (V)ictims, (P)arty, (D)ecedent
City of Residence
S- Kellner, James Stewart
S-Ruben Brian Mendoza
On 08-09-16, deputies from the Ojai Valley patrol station responded to a 911 call of a bank robbery at the Rabobank, located at 410 N. Ventura Avenue, in the unincorporated area of Ventura County known as Oak View. On arrival, deputies learned that a single male suspect entered the bank and produced a note demanding money. A bank employee gave the suspect an undisclosed amount of cash and the suspect fled to an awaiting getaway vehicle. Detectives with the Sheriff's Major Crimes Bureau responded and initiated an investigation into the robbery.
Through the investigation, it was discovered that a suspicious male had entered the bank on 08-08-16 and appeared to be casing it. Detectives obtained video surveillance footage of the subject and positively identified him as Ruben Mendoza, a documented gang member from the city of Ventura. Detectives discovered that Mendoza had been convicted in 2008 of conspiracy to commit an armed robbery of the same Rabobank branch and had been sentenced to state prison.
On 09-02-16, a second robbery occurred at the Rabobank. During this second robbery, a single male suspect entered the bank and pointed a handgun at bank employees while demanding money. Bank employees gave the suspect an undisclosed amount of cash and the suspect fled to an awaiting getaway vehicle parked nearby.
An alert passerby observed the suspect flee the bank and get into the getaway vehicle, driven by another suspect. As the red SUV began to flee the area, it was involved in a minor traffic collision with the passerby's vehicle.
Deputies were able to ascertain the vehicle description, including a license plate number, and last known direction of travel. Deputies ultimately located the vehicle abandoned a short distance away on Valley Road and discovered that it was an unreported stolen vehicle. Deputies conducted an extensive search of the area utilizing police canines, but were unable to locate the suspects. A firearm and other evidence believed to be related to the robbery were located near the abandoned vehicle.
Based on evidence obtained in this investigation, Major Crimes detectives determined that Mendoza and another male, identified as James Kellner, were responsible for both bank robberies. Detectives arrested Kellner on 11-07-16 at the Todd Road Jail, where he was in custody for an unrelated case. Kellner's bail amount is currently set at $160,000. Kellner's next scheduled court date is 04-04-16.
Major Crimes detectives worked closely with agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in order to locate Mendoza. Mendoza was ultimately located in the state of Texas and taken into custody on 11-03-16. Mendoza was extradited back to Ventura County and was arrested on 12-14-16 for the robberies. Mendoza is currently in custody in the Ventura County Jail with a bail amount of $600,000. His next scheduled court date is 12-16-16.
Sgt. Ron Chips
News Release Date:
Media Follow-Up Contact:
Sgt. Ron Chips (805) 765-0617
Captain Melissa Smith
Ventura County Crime Stoppers will pay up to $1,000 reward for information, which leads to the arrest and criminal complaint against the person(s) responsible for this crime. The caller may remain anonymous. The call is not recorded. Call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477).