Merced School Employees Federal Credit Union robber arrested, police say

A man accused of robbing a Merced School Employees Federal Credit Union branch last week was arrested Wednesday by Reno police.

The suspect, 24-year-old Matthew Dean Lane of Merced, was arrested not long after he allegedly robbed a Wells Fargo Bank in Reno, according to Lt. Andre Matthews, Merced police spokesman.

Lane allegedly entered the 200 S. Virginia Street bank in Reno around 5 p.m. and handed the clerk a note which said he had a gun and wanted money, the Reno Gazette Journal reported.

Witnesses reported seeing Lane get into a taxicab traveling in rush-hour traffic. Reno police spotted the taxi and took Lane into custody without incident. Lane was found in possession of money stolen from the Reno Wells Fargo Bank, Matthews said.

FBI agents interviewed Lane and confirmed he was also responsible for the robbery in Merced.

The Merced School Employees Federal Credit Union robbery at 1021 Olivewood Drive was reported around 2:30 p.m. March 10. In that robbery, the suspect also handed the teller a note, saying he had a gun, according to police.

After the robbery, Sandy Webb, an investigator with the Merced County District Attorney's Office, and Atwater Police Detective Armando Echeverria identified Lane as the suspect, from prior police contact in Atwater.

No one was physically harmed in either robbery.

Matthews said the arrest was the result of cooperation between law enforcement agencies and help from witnesses.

Lane was booked into the Washoe County Jail on suspicion of bank robbery.

Reporter Victor A. Patton can be reached at (209) 385-2431 or vpatton@mercedsun-star.com.