Facial tattoo helps detectives catch bank robbery suspect

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LA MESA, Calif. — A man who netted just over $1,100 in a La Mesa bank holdup and was identified through a distinctive facial tattoo pleaded guilty Tuesday to federal bank robbery charges.

Omar Mata Guerra, 24, of San Diego, faces a maximum of 20 years in prison when he is sentenced Oct. 21 for robbing a Bank of the West branch at 8690 Center Drive on May 10.

According to federal prosecutors, Guerra approached a teller and said, “Listen, don’t do anything stupid, I’ve done this before. Stay calm, give me money from your top drawer.” He also told the teller to “keep your hands where I can see them, no alarm, no dye packs.”

Guerra made off with $1,152.40 and fled the bank, but was later caught after being identified by a distinctive tattoo beneath his right eye, which was spotted when detectives reviewed surveillance footage, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

“This bank robber not only took money, he stole the peace of mind of bank employees,” U.S. Attorney Robert Brewer said. “Our law enforcement partners acted swiftly to ensure that this brazen robber was brought to justice and unable to harm others.”

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