REDLANDS – One day after a 62-year-old man robbed a bank, police arrested him after a high speed freeway pursuit in nearby San Bernardino on Friday.
On Monday, Redlands police spokesman Carl Baker credited several agencies with the capture of Christensen, of Highland. Police said Christensen entered the Security Bank of California branch on East State St. at 9 a.m. last Thursday.
Displaying a handgun in his waistband and demanding money from the bank manager, Christensen fled in a red Ford Mustang, said police.
After leaving the bank, Baker said, “(Christensen) escaped on foot.” The suspect was observed getting into a car that was parked in a lot on Sixth St. He drove through an alley before moving onto Redlands Blvd., which was all caught on video.
“We located the getaway vehicle,” said Baker, “based on information from the surveillance video outside the bank.”
Early Friday morning, officers stopped a vehicle which matched the cherry-red later model Ford Mustang police had been seeking as the car used in the bank robbery. The driver, said police, was not the suspect. Baker said the driver of the Mustang “was not involved (in the robbery).”
Baker said the car had been turned over to a vehicle broker who said the car had been detailed on Thursday afternoon. The detailer was the suspected robber Christensen, said police.
When police located Christensen in San Bernardino, Redlands officers attempted a traffic stop. But Christensen, now driving a copper colored Cadillac Eldorado, escaped and headed north on the 215 freeway, with both Redlands and San Bernardino police in pursuit.
California Highway Patrol officers took over the pursuit. Christensen doubled back and headed south on the 215, exiting at University Parkway and pulled into a Shell station. Police said he attempted to carjack another vehicle, but he was arrested.
Detectives discovered a large amount of cash, the amount undisclosed, along with other evidence including a replica handgun in the Cadillac. Later, police said, Christensen was positively identified by Security Bank employees as the man who held up the bank one day earlier.
ABC – Eyewitness News 7 KABC-TV, Sunday, September 18, 2011: Highland man arrested in Redlands bank heist
CBS – News 5 KTLA-TV, September 17, 2011: Redlands Police Arrest Alleged Bank Robber After High-Speed Pursuit
LomaLindaPatch.com, September 17, 2011: Robbery Suspect Arrested After Chase