SUPPORT THIS INDEPENDENT JOURNALISM
The article you’re about to read is from our reporters doing their important work — investigating, researching, and writing their stories. We want to provide informative and inspirational stories that connect you to the people, issues and opportunities within our community. Journalism requires lots of resources. Today, our business model has been interrupted by the pandemic; the vast majority of our advertisers’ businesses have been impacted. That’s why The Capistrano Dispatch is now turning to you for financial support. Learn more about our new Insider’s program here. Thank you.

A man suspected by FBI to be the “Cal Bear Bandit” was arrested Dec. 5 in Santa Ana. The suspect’s first robbery, according to authorities, occurred at a Chase Bank in San Juan Capistrano in August. Photo: Courtesy of Orange County Sheriff’s Department.
A man suspected by FBI to be the “Cal Bear Bandit” was arrested Dec. 5 in Santa Ana. The suspect’s first robbery, according to authorities, occurred at a Chase Bank in San Juan Capistrano in August. Photo: Courtesy of Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

By Allison Jarrell

The man suspected of being the “Cal Bear Bandit” was arrested by the Westminster Police Department on Dec. 5 in Santa Ana after an attempted bank robbery. Justin Hayes, 27, of Irvine had attempted to rob a U.S. National Bank and flee to a taxi cab when he was pursued by officers and apprehended.

According to authorities, the Cal Bear Bandit’s first robbery was on Aug. 20, when he robbed the Chase Bank at 31972 Camino Capistrano in San Juan. The suspect walked into the bank, handed a note to the teller claiming he had a gun and left on foot with an undisclosed amount of cash, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

Hayes is suspected by the FBI of being the Cal Bear Bandit and was booked at Orange County Jail on charges of bank robbery, felony evading and auto theft.

At his Dec. 9 arraignment, Hayes pleaded not guilty to charges of being the Cal Bear Bandit and robbing a slew of banks in Orange County since August. Recently, Hayes told a CBS reporter that he’s innocent and needs to be in rehab for his heroin addiction.

BECOME AN INSIDER TODAY
Trustworthy, accurate and reliable local news stories are more important now than ever. Support our newsroom by making a contribution and becoming a subscribing member today.

About The Author Capo Dispatch