Nye County Sheriff’s deputies arrested a man Tuesday after they say he robbed a local bank at gunpoint.
Juan Aulestia, 47, was taken into custody on charges of robbery with a deadly weapon and burglary while in possession of a firearm after police say he walked into Meadows Bank, 3250 S. Highway 160, with a gun and demanded money.
According to a declaration of arrest in the case, at approximately 4:21 p.m. sheriff’s deputies and detectives were dispatched to the location for a report of a robbery. Police said they were advised by bank employees that a black or Hispanic male had walked into the bank with a firearm demanding money.
Before police arrived on scene, the male reportedly left with $2,275 in stolen cash.
When a detective reviewed surveillance video of the incident, he reported seeing what appeared to be a Hispanic male in a checkered shirt and black jeans wearing a blue baseball cap with the letter “N” on it, a dark pair of sunglasses and another dark pair of sunglasses on his hat. Aulestia’s arrest report also noted it appeared the man had put some kind of brown material on his face as well to make it look as though he had a beard and mustache.
In the video, the male could allegedly be seen pointing a small black pistol toward at least two of the bank employees.
A witness outside the bank then reportedly told police he had seen a man get into a white, two-door pickup truck behind the business and take off at a high rate of speed.
Deputies and detectives soon after reported finding a Hispanic male, who appeared to match the description of the suspect, standing next to a white truck in the parking lot of Pahrump Family Mortuary on Vicki Ann Road.
When police first approached Aulestia, they stated he refused to follow commands and began walking back toward the truck. Eventually, police said he began to comply with their orders and deputies were able to detain him.
Inside of Aulestia’s truck, police saw a stack of bills in plain sight sitting on the front seat. A telephonic search warrant was obtained to search the vehicle and police allegedly discovered $2,275 in currency taken from the bank. Deputies and detectives were able to confirm the money belonged to the bank by checking the serial numbers on the bills, which reportedly matched those missing from the institution.
Police also reported finding a black revolver in the vehicle as well that appeared to match the one seen in the surveillance video.
During a subsequent interview with police, Aulestia allegedly admitted to robbing the bank, stating he was going through a rough time.
Aulestia was arrested and transported to the Nye County Detention Center to be booked into custody.
As of Thursday morning, he remained in custody on $30,000 bail.
Sheriff Tony DeMeo said the case has since been turned over to the FBI. Agents were at the sheriff’s office conducting their investigation Thursday morning.
Meadows Bank President Arvind Menon said he was grateful no one was injured in the incident and that police were able to apprehend the suspect quickly.
“We are very proud of the employees there. We practice these kinds of security measures all the time. When it really happens it’s difficult to say how people will react, but fortunately for us, all of our employees reacted really well about it. They kept their cool and it went out without any physical harm,” he said. “I would like to commend the sheriff’s department for being on the spot, they did a really good job.”
Menon added that the Pahrump branch had just recently upgraded its security system within the last two months, which proved to be helpful in capturing images of the suspect.
“We are always in danger of these things happening and the best thing that could have happened was no one was hurt, so it went off like we train our employees to do. They all reacted in a calm fashion. We are very proud of the employees there. If bad things have to happen, this is probably the best outcome that could have happened. And furthermore, they were able to arrest the guy. He’s already in jail and they’ve taken a bad guy off the streets,” Menon said.