Witness to bank robbery tails suspects until cops arrive

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Oceanside police investigate a robbery at Chase Bank.

OCEANSIDE, Calif. — Two men who allegedly robbed an Oceanside bank Monday were arrested a short time later in neighboring Carlsbad, thanks to a good Samaritan who tailed the pair as they drove away from the crime scene.

One of the suspects handed a demand note to a teller at the Chase bank in the 1700 block of Oceanside Boulevard shortly after 12:30 p.m., according to police.

After the clerk handed him $1,000, the man left, joined a cohort just outside the bank and got into a nearby white van with him, Lt. Leonard Cosby said.

A witness followed the suspects’ vehicle and made an emergency call to report the direction in which it was heading. The van eventually pulled into a parking lot in the 300 block of Carlsbad Village Drive, where the two men got out and walked off in different directions.

The witness pointed out the alleged robbers — identified as 23-year-old Juan Maximino Mendieta Jr. of Oceanside and 22-year-old Tyler Francis Van Nevel of Vista — to arriving officers, who arrested them nearby without incident, Cosby said.

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