STOCKTON - When a Stockton bank was robbed by three men last week who used an employee' SUV to escape, it was a sense of deja vu for a woman who worked at the bank when it was robbed last January. It was her car that was stolen for the getaway that day.
"The guy with the gun pointed it at us and said 'who has a car, who has an f-ing car'. I said I do," said the woman who won't allow her name, hometown, or picture to be used.
Police released a photo shortly after the January robbery of the Bank of the West in north Stockton. Now they're convinced the same man in the photo was also one of the robbers last week.
"They brought the security guy in and tied him up and put a gun to his head. They yelled 'put your f-ing hands up'," recalled the former employee. She couldn't continue working after the incident.
"The fact they hadn't been caught, the emotional and mental damage it does to you, I knew I couldn't go back," she said.
January's robbery ended without violence, unlike last week, when the robbers took three hostages, then engaged in a wild shootout with police during an hour-long chase.
The woman who had her car taken six months knows the two bank employees kidnapped last week and called them brave. The third hostage was bank customer Misty Holt-Singh, who died in the shootout between the suspects and police.
"I still cry. Just can't believe they went through that, seeing that car riddled with bullets, knowing they were in there," she said.
The surviving suspect appeared in a Stockton court Monday to hear 35 criminal charges read against him, including three for murder and 22 for attempted murder of a police officer.