Bank Robber Sentenced for Hiding Stolen Money in Resident’s Yard in Imperial Beach

The robber ran off with over $4,000 from North Island Credit Union

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A man was sentenced on Monday to 55 months in prison for robbing a North Island Credit Union and running from the sheriff's deputies for 40 minutes, according to U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy.

Tulio David Gasca, 24, admitted in a plea agreement that he entered the branch in Imperial Beach at about 12:41 p.m. on March 5, 2015, according to Duffy. He wore a mask as he approached a bank teller, yelling, "Give me your money!" He then grabbed $4,210 before running off.

In the law enforcement chase, Duffy said an off-duty correctional officer pursued Gasca, who rushed into an apartment complex across the street from the bank. The chase continued straight through its courtyard and a gate leading into an alley. That's when the officer lost sight of him and called in a K-9 unit.

As the K-9 began tracking Gasca, a San Diego County Sheriff's helicopter arrived at the scene, according to Duffy. Its crew quickly discovered Gasca a few blocks from the credit union and the apartment complex. One deputy managed to grab hold of Gasca, but the suspect wrenched himself out of his grasp and bolted away.

Duffy said the deputy managed to catch up with Gasca and tried to stun him with a taser. Gaser fought back, injuring the deputy. He then ran toward 13th St.

At about 1:25 p.m., the sheriff's deputies found Gasca hiding in a residential backyard on 13th St. They arrested him, but the stolen money was not recovered, said Duffy.

The next day a resident who lived by the backyard in which Gasca notified the police that she found a large pile of money while cleaning the shelves on her lawn. Duffy said the deputies returned to the yard and recovered $3,862, as well as an email addressed to Gasca located beneath another shelf.

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