Former Bank Employee Recalls January Bank Robbery, Devastated by Crime Occurring Again

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Last Wednesday’s violent robbery at the Bank of the West on Thornton Road in Stockton was a terrifying case of deja vu for some of the employees.

A former employee of that branch spoke with FOX40 on condition of anonymity Monday afternoon, recalling the terrifying experience of a January 31 robbery at the bank.

“They had the security guard with a gun to his head, and they just made us all put our hands up.”

According to Stockton Police, at least one of the suspects in the January robbery was 27-year-old Alex Martinez.  He was killed in a shootout with police following Wednesday’s robbery at the same Bank of the West.  In both holdups, the suspects demanded car keys.

“He was across the counter from me and just had the gun in my face the whole time,” the former employee said.  “I gave him my keys and they took off.”

It was such a traumatic experience, she quit her job, and has stayed away from banks.

“The worst thing people say is, thank God you didn’t get hurt,” she explained. “Because mentally it is the worst thing, thinking you’re going to die.”

She said she was devastated when she learned about Wednesday’s incident, especially when she learned that two of her former coworkers, who were present during the January robbery, were taken hostage and injured on Wednesday.

She said the victims are going to need a lot of time, space, support and counseling.

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