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Tip leads to arrest in Modesto area bank robberies

CERES — Detectives on Wednesday arrested a man suspected of robbing two Modesto banks earlier this year and who is believed to be responsible for two other bank robberies in the region.

Modesto police arrested Adam Ayala, 28, of Ceres about 8 a.m. at his home in the 3600 block of Timberly Lane.

Detectives believe Ayala robbed Guaranty Bank branches inside Cost Less Foods grocery stores in Modesto, said Modesto police Sgt. Brian Findlen.

The first robbery occurred June 3 about 1:30 p.m. at the bank at 3801 Yosemite Blvd., just west of Claus Road in east Modesto.

The second robbery occurred Oct. 6 just before 5 p.m. at 901 N. Carpenter Road in west Modesto.

Both times, a man approached the bank teller and demanded money after claiming to have a firearm, Findlen said. The man left with an undisclosed amount of cash and never brandished a weapon. No one was injured.

In mid-November, Modesto police received a tip on the Crime Stoppers hot line from a caller who recognized the man seen in surveillance photos from one of the Modesto robberies. Findlen said the caller provided information to detectives that led them to identify Ayala as the suspect.

Findlen said Modesto police detectives worked closely with their counterparts in Merced and Lodi in the days and weeks leading to Ayala's arrest. He said Ayala is believed to be responsible for bank robberies in each of those two cities.

Bee staff writer Rosalio Ahumada can be reached at rahumada@modbee.com or 578-2394.

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