The suspect wore a mask, dark clothing and gloves. (SMPD)

Sections of Montana Avenue and the surrounding streets near 9th Street were on lockdown Tuesday while police searched for an armed robbery suspect.

A man wearing a white “Day of the Dead” type of mask, dark clothing and gloves entered Wells Fargo on Montana and 9th Street at 9:51 a.m. armed with a shotgun and demanded money, said Santa Monica Police Department Lt. Candice Cobarrubias. He received between three to five thousand dollars and left the location. The man was last seen jumping a wall to the rear of the bank and in the 800 block of 9th Street, Cobarrubias said.

She said SMPD officers arrived on the scene within minutes and set up a perimeter based on information provided by witnesses and residents in the area. Officers were unable to locate the subject after about five hours of searching.

The street was closed from about 9th to 11th streets from 10 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. SMPD asked all residents and businesses on that section of Montana, including Roosevelt Elementary School and First United Methodist Church School, to shelter in place.

At 3:30 p.m., SMPD announced on Twitter that the shelter in place order has been lifted.

“We understand this has been very stressful on the community and appreciate your patience and understanding,” the tweet said. “We will continue to provide updates should any additional information become available.”

Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District spokesperson Gail Pinsker said students at Roosevelt continued their classes and ate lunch in their classrooms or in the cafeteria. They were permitted to go to the bathrooms with adult escorts but were not allowed to play outside.

Students were released in groups through the back gate, Pinsker said.

No one was injured in the incident and the Santa Monica Police Department are working with the Federal Bureau of Investigations to identify the suspect.

Anyone with information is encouraged to call Detective Haro of the Santa Monica Police Department at 310-458-8432 or the Watch Commander (24 hours) at 310-458-8427.

This article was updated Sept. 10 at 6:30 p.m.

Join the Conversation


  1. If you see someone wearing a mask like this call 911 right away. Assume it’s a robber. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

  2. Lots of suspect individuals in the Virginia / Delaware Avenue area. Riding beach cruisers/red bikes and coming and going on certain days of the week. Maybe they are just visiting friends, but they seem organized.

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