A 35-year-old New Mexico man is charged with robbing a Texas bank and may be linked to a string of similar bank robberies spanning four other states, prosecutors said Thursday.
Fernando Enriquez, 35, faces a federal bank robbery charge in connection with a robbery Tuesday at a Chase bank branch in Abilene, where an armed man demanded cash from a teller and fled, the office of U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas announced in a news release Thursday.
Prosecutors said that during the robbery in Abilene, the teller activated her silent alarm and described the suspect as a heavy-set Hispanic man wearing a face mask, grey hoodie, jeans and a baseball cap. A witness who was also in the bank during the robbery used his phone to record the man leaving the bank and entering a white Chevrolet.
Shortly after the incident, Texas DPS and Abilene PD officers pulled over a vehicle matching the suspect description in Merkel, where they found Enriquez and his girlfriend inside, the release said.
Officers say they searched the vehicle and found a firearm, a gray hoodie, a baseball cap and a large amount of money, the release said.
In an interview with detectives, the woman with Enriquez stated that they lived in Arizona, Mississippi, New Mexico and California, and though Enriquez was unemployed at the time, he always seemed to have cash on hand, the release said. She also told investigators that Enriquez left her and his children at a motel to get gas and when he returned, he rushed them to leave, driving faster than usual, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors said Enriquez's physical description and the methods of the Chase robbery matched similar cases in Arizona, Mississippi, New Mexico and California. His girlfriend also identified Enriquez as the man seen in photographs taken from robberies in those states.
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If convicted, Enriquez faces up to 25 years in federal prison. It was not immediately known whether he was represented by an attorney.
His girlfriend was not charged.