Tuesday . 26 March . 2019
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Man Took $4.3 Million in Cash From an Alaska Bank and Ran, Drove and Flew, Prosecutors Say

From there, the agent said, Mr. Cazarez hailed a cab to take him to his girlfriend, who had also flown to Washington State. On the way, with the help of the cabdriver, he found and bought an AK-47 and a handgun, along with ammunition, for $4,000, the affidavit said. Then the driver dropped Mr. Cazarez at a home where he met his girlfriend.

Eventually, Mr. Cazarez bought a Ford Fusion under his girlfriend’s name, and the couple drove south to California, and then on to Tijuana, Mexico, the affidavit said. On Aug. 1, 2011 — three days after the theft in Alaska — the couple abandoned the Ford Fusion and boarded a bus bound for Sonora, Mexico, according to the affidavit.

It was there that the pair finally ran into trouble. When the bus stopped at a checkpoint, the couple collected their luggage, walked through the line and were flagged for further inspection, the affidavit said. Mr. Cazarez told his girlfriend that “they were in serious trouble.”

When the Mexican authorities opened their suitcases, they discovered about $3.8 million in cash, plus the firearms and ammunition, the affidavit said.

Back in Anchorage, KeyBank officials were struggling to open their vault. And Mr. Cazarez, they realized, had not come to work.

It took an entire day for bank officials to open the door. Once they got inside, the affidavit said, their fears were confirmed: “Large quantities of cash were missing.” The bank’s security-camera recordings would help them piece together what had happened.

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