May 26, 2020

Norco ’80, part 6: One deputy is on the scene and others arrive quickly to confront bank robbers

Norco ’80
The true story of the most spectacular bank robbery in American history

Parts1 2 3 4 5 6 of 14

The only way Riverside County Sheriff’s dispatcher Gary Keeter could explain what went down in Norco that day was that it had all happened so fast. “Riverside to Norco units, have a 211 in progress at the Security Pacific Bank at Fourth and Hamner.”

Within two seconds of Keeter’s initial dispatch, deputy Glyn Bolasky responded, “3-Edward-50, 1097,” indicating his radio ID and 1097, the code for “officer on scene.”

Bolasky was already 1097? thought Keeter. He was never en route. “Riverside to all, clear the air,” Keeter added, instructing all nonessential radio traffic to cease.

Deputy Glyn Bolasky had been stopped in the left turn lane at Hamner and Fourth Street staring straight at the Security Pacific Bank when Keeter’s 211 tone for a robbery in progress went out. Activating his overhead lights, he made the left onto Fourth Street toward the east entrance of the parking lot, scanning the lot and bank building as he went. Immediately, Bolasky heard a muffled popping noise and saw red and blue plastic falling around his unit. Momentarily distracted, Bolasky never saw the man in the ski mask standing beside the green van shooting out his light bar with an assault rifle.

On the phone at the dispatch center, Gladys Wiza scribbled something on an index card and slid it in front of Keeter. Keeter looked down. Now we got a real problem, he thought.  “3-Edward-50,” he radioed. “The suspect vehicle is a green van with weapons.”

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If Bolasky heard the transmission at all, it was too late to do anything about it. As he swung his patrol car into the bank parking lot, four men in black ski masks and olive-drab field jackets came into view no more than two car lengths in front of Bolasky’s unit. An instant later, Bolasky’s windshield glazed into an intricate spider web as three rounds crashed through it. He felt his face and arms go hot as flying glass peppered him like birdshot. The young deputy threw his body across the bench seat for cover.  “3-Edward-50 taking fire!” he yelled into his mic, gunshots in the background cracking with the irregular cadence of popping corn.

Only 28 seconds after initial dispatch, Keeter keyed up the dispatch mic again. “It’s a green van. It’s Fourth and Hamner. They are shooting.”

The robbers carjacked a van to use in the robbery, which was disabled as the fled the Security Pacific Bank in Norco. Getaway driver Billy Delgado was shot and killed as he drove away. (Photo courtesy of Riverside Sheriff’s Office)

Manny Delgado walked in front of the van, lowered the riot gun, and unloaded several …read more

Source:: Los Angeles Daily News


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