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Elderly bank robber caught with fake bomb

Posted at 10:01 AM, Jun 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-04 14:08:59-04

An elderly, lone gunman robbed a Chase bank branch in San Marcos but was later caught by police during a traffic stop, a San Diego sheriff's sergeant said Saturday.

The robbery at the Chase branch at 1921 W. San Marcos Blvd. occurred at 5 p.m. Friday, according to sheriff's Sgt. Conrad Berlinsky.

The 81-year-old suspect put a black box on the bank counter and gave the teller a note demanding money, Berlinsky said. The note said he had a gun and a bomb and the robber, later identified as Michael Lehman, brandished a handgun.

The teller gave Lehman the money and he walked out of the bank and drove away in a silver sedan, Berlinsky said. A bank employee, however, managed to get a partial license plate on the car.

At 5:15 p.m., a Carlsbad police officer made a traffic stop on a car that matched the description.

Lehman was positively identified as the robber by witnesses at the bank and taken into custody.

A sheriff's bomb squad was called to evaluate the black box and determined it was not a bomb, Berlinsky said.

No one was injured in the bank robbery.