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Arsonist charged with bank robbery
March 28, 2014, 05:00 AM By Michelle Durand Daily Journal

Hugo Carranza

A 66-year-old man convicted of torching a car at the Daly City Department of Motor Vehicles is charged with robbing $5,000 from a Redwood City bank two days after his release with credit for time served on the felony arson charge.

Hugo Carranza, who accumulated the time awaiting trial and while committed to a state hospital for several months, has pleaded not guilty in the new bank robbery case. He was scheduled for a preliminary hearing Thursday but the prosecution sought a delay because a witness is a juror in an unrelated trial and unavailable.

On March 14, a man later identified as Carranza walked into the Bank of America at 700 Jefferson Ave. around 2:10 p.m. and demanded of a teller “Give me $5,000 in a box!”

The teller reported being confused by the request and asked if he wanted to make a withdrawal from his account. The man replied “No, from the bank” and simulated having a gun in his pocket. The teller gave the man the money and triggered the silent alarm which led police to wait for the robber when he exited the bank. All the money was recovered.

In the earlier case, Carranza was angry because he paid fines at DMV after San Francisco police towed his vehicle due to an expired registration but could not get it released. On April 23, 2012, he filled a bottle with oil or gas, randomly selected what he thought was an employee’s vehicle and poured the liquid over two tires before lighting them on fire. The 2008 Cadillac Escalade was scorched and the flames also damaged a Honda in an adjacent space.

A witness reported seeing Carranza walk away from the scene and the arson was reportedly caught on tape. At the scene, Carranza walked up to a police lieutenant and said “I’m the one who did it,” according to prosecutors.

After his arrest, Carranza was declared incompetent and hospitalized. Last August, he returned to San Mateo County for prosecution after hospital staff declared him restored and two days before his robbery arrest settled his case with a plea deal.

He is in custody on $50,000 bail.

(650) 344-5200 ext. 102



Tags: carranza, after, teller, police,

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