Police say they didn’t have to go far to find a robber who struck Monday at Union Bank in Fresno’s Chinatown. He was about a block away at a market, they say, carrying a cane and a hospital bag.
Police spokesman Lt. Joe Gomez said James Kelsey, 51, was on federal parole for bank robbery when he allegedly targeted the branch on the 1400 block of Kern Street, leaving with about $100.
The heist was similar to one that took place last week in which David Sheridan, 57, on federal parole for bank robbery, was arrested after allegedly striking two downtown banks within minutes.
Kelsey didn’t put up much resistance after officers caught up with him; he leaned against the wall of the market with a dejected look on his face as police waited for witnesses from the bank to identify him. He apparently wasn’t judged a threat to officers, who didn’t handcuff him.
Gomez said Kelsey went into the bank with the bag – the kind in which hospital patients place clothes and belongings – opened the bag and told a teller, “This is a robbery.” The teller put the cash in the bag and Kelsey walked out, Gomez said.
Asked if Kelsey had been released recently from a hospital, Gomez said he did not know.
After last week’s robbery, Gomez said he would not be surprised if Sheridan simply wanted to return to the relative safety of federal prison after life on the streets. The lieutenant didn’t take issue when asked if the motive of Monday’s caper could have been the same.
Jim Guy: 559-441-6339