PUBLISHED: 6:00 PM 10 Jan 2018

Bank Employee Splits But Police Develop Crafty Arrest Plan As Suspect’s Smarts Lacking

Police in Phoenix were surprised when a bank heist suspect applied for a job with them.

Police in Phoenix were surprised when a bank heist suspect applied for a job with them.

Pulling off a bank heist is nearly impossible. Banks are set up to track and monitor all the activities in and out of their branches. This, of course, includes the daily operations of the employees. While a few employees may try to cheat the system, at some point the checks and balances will expose the theft.

This is precisely what happened in Yavapai County, Arizona at the local Bank of America. An employee was caught skimming money, and the police were contacted. It seems that bank managers realized that Alberto Saavedra Lopez might have taken up to $5,000 over the course of three months.

Once the police were involved, Lopez left the bank. The investigation had tipped him off to the fact that his theft was no longer going to work and he quickly left the area. Even as local authorities tried to make contact, Lopez ignored the police. His lack of smarts put him back in police sights quickly though and they crafted a plan to catch him.

Instead of dealing with the issue in Yavapai County, Lopez moved to Phoenix for a fresh start. He seemed to think moving the short distance was enough to outrun the accusations. He was not aware that things like warrants follow you and that at some point they may, in fact, catch up with you.

When he quit his job and moved to Phoenix, he needed a new job. Knowing that he was wanted in connection with the bank heist, one might assume Lopez would try to fly under the radar so to speak. This was not the case, the first place he applied to work was the local police department.

Lopez applied to work for the local Cottonwood County Police Department in their dispatch center. It is not clear if he understood that this was directly connected to the local police force or if he thought he was in the clear since his legal issues were with another Arizona county. Applying to work with the police at a time he knew he was wanted by the police seemed to point to an apparent lack of intelligence.

As Lopez started the process to begin training as a 911 operator, he probably had to fill out some forms. Most job applications include a check of work history and for things like a job with the police they may require a background check. This is usually laid out in the application, and the job seeker gives their consent.

One might assume seeing on paper that the authorities in Cottonwood could be looking into his work history was enough to keep him from applying for the job. This was not the case as he pushed forward with his application.

At some point in the application process, the police in Cottonwood pulled up a simple background check. As you might expect, they were surprised to see that Lopez was wanted for the bank heist.

After figuring out that Lopez was wanted, the police set an exciting plan into play. Instead of just barreling forward to try to locate Lopez, they did the next best thing. They followed his lead as far the job with the dispatch center went.

During the time that the bank asked the authorities in Yavapai County to investigate, the police there had tried several times to touch base with Lopez. He did not answer their calls and left the area to avoid talking to them.

Authorities in Cottonwood hoped that Lopez would return their calls if he thought it was a job offer and not the bank issue. This worked like a charm as he quickly got into contact with the police in Phoenix.

Lopez thought he had not only gotten away with stealing $5,000 but also possibly found a new job at the police station in Cottonwood. He seemed clueless to the idea that there may be something else brewing as the police invited him to the station for an interview.

When Lopez arrived, he was interviewed. The interview just was not what he expected since it was not for a job at all. The police were finally able to interview their suspect.

At the end of the interview, Lopez was arrested. This was not the placement Lopez had hoped for with the Cottonwood Police Department, but the authorities in Yavapai County were pleased to learn the suspect had been arrested. He is still in custody in Cottonwood County.