People inside Chula Vista bank experienced frightening moments Friday when a man wielding a hammer and a flare gun tried to rob the business, using rope to tie the doors shut from inside.
The Chula Vista Police Department (CVPD) said suspect Clinton Thinn, 29, walked into a Bank of America located at 295 E St. just before 6 p.m. holding a claw hammer and a flare gun. Thinn demanded money from a teller and when that teller refused him, he confronted a bank security guard and fired a round from his flare gun toward the guard.
CVPD investigators said employees inside the bank ran for cover, locking themselves inside a room behind security glass to escape from Thinn.
While in hiding, the scared group called 911 and reported the robbery in progress. As they waited for officers to arrive, Thinn allegedly used his hammer to attempt to force entry into the secure area. When he couldn’t smash his way through, Thinn demanded money again from the employees through the glass and threatened to harm them, witnesses told police.
At this point, CVPD officers descended on the bank and realized Thinn had used rope to tie the entrance doors shut from the inside.
Officers were able to open the doors. Thinn was arrested on the spot without further incident, the CVPD said.
None of the employees inside the bank were hurt.
Thinn, the lone suspect in this attempted bank heist, was booked into San Diego Central Jail on several felony charges including using a person as a shield, second-degree burglary, possession of an explosive device and false imprisonment.
Thinn’s bail was set at $100,000. He’s scheduled to appear in court Wednesday.
The incident remains under investigation and anyone with information can call the CVPD at (619) 691-5151.