Bank robbery suspect arrested 24 hours after heist

SANTA BARBARA — One day and $1,200 later, police say they got their man.

Working in concert with the Ventura city police, Santa Barbara police detectives last week arrested Robert Haig Royal, 33, on suspicion of having carried out a brazen robbery at the 3970 State Street Bank of America on the morning of Jan. 7.

He was arrested just 24 hours following the robbery, at 9:45 a.m. Jan. 8.

According to Lt. Paul McCaffrey, spokesman for the Santa Barbara Police Department, the robbery involved the theft of $9,000 in cash. Bank surveillance videos gave authorities a series of quality images of the crime, which were published the same day in the hope that members of the public might identify the perpetrator.

“We had excellent response to those pictures,” McCaffrey said, indicating that one anonymous tipster identified the photos as Royal.

With that information, Det. Mike Clayton located Royal’s downtown Santa Barbara residence, gathered enough information at that location to charge Royal with parole violation, and obtained an arrest warrant on that basis. Vehicle descriptions and records gathered at Royal’s residence then led detectives to his family members living in Ventura.

Calling upon the Ventura Police Department to assist in apprehension of the suspect at the Ventura residence, a traffic stop was made on Royal, whereupon he was arrested on parole violation and found to be in possession of $7,800 cash believed to be the product of the Santa Barbara bank robbery.

Royal was transported to Santa Barbara County Jail where he was booked for felony bank robbery and parole violation and is currently held without bail.

Police say this surveillance image of a bank robber helped lead them to Robert Haig Royal.


Ventura and Santa Barbara police assisted each other in the case.


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