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Santa Monica Police Arrest Suspect in Attempted Bank Robbery

Bob Kronovetrealty
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By Jorge Casuso

December 10, 2020 -- Santa Monica police officers on Tuesday arrested an Indiana man who attempted to hold up the Wells Fargo Bank in Ocean Park, one of five bank robberies in the Los Angeles region this week.

Aaron Koehler-Marsh, 27 of Dayton, Indiana, entered the bank at 170 Pier Avenue at around 9:20 a.m. wearing a mask and armed with a shotgun, according to authorities.
Aaron Koehler-MarshAaron Koehler-Marsh
Courtesy SMPD

Police dispatchers received a call of an armed robbery in progress and relayed the information to officers in the area, who "quickly arrived on scene," said SMPD spokesman Lt. Joseph Cortez.

The officers "observed the suspect inside a vehicle exiting the bank parking lot" and conducted a high-risk traffic stop at the intersection of Neilson Way and Bicknell.

The suspect was taken into custody without incident, Cortez said. Officers recovered a shotgun from the vehicle but found no stolen cash.

Koehler-Marsh could face State or Federal charges, said Laura Eimiller, the spokesperson for the FBI's Los Angeles Office

There has been a marked drop in bank robberies during the coronavirus emergency, but this week saw a resurgence across the seven counties covered by the agency's FBI office, Eimiller said.

"We did see a decline during the shutdown, but not completely," she said. "This has been a pretty busy week for bank robberies."

In addition to the attempted robbery in Santa Monica, there was a bank robbery in Newport Beach on Monday and another in Murrieta on Tuesday.

A fourth bank robbery took place in Temecula on Wednesday, and on Thursday there was an attempted burglary with a pipe bomb at a bank ATM in Whittier.

The Santa Monica suspect entered the bank, which is considered an essential business, wearing a mask, Eimiller said.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, when face coverings are required, entering a bank wearing a mask is no longer a cause for alarm, Eimiller said.

"That's definitely a problem today," she said.

Anyone with information about any crimes committed in Santa Monica should share that information by calling 310-458-8451 or by email to

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