An East Palo Alto woman arrested earlier this month in connection with at least 10 bank robberies this spring and summer has been identified by San Ramon police as their lead suspect for a local credit union robbery in May.
Mary A. Mapa, 27, was arrested at her home Aug. 3 after investigators traced a fingerprint from a Sunnyvale bank pamphlet back to her, according to the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office.
Authorities allege she was also identified in bank robberies in Palo Alto, Livermore, Morgan Hill, Walnut Creek, Napa, Manteca and San Mateo.
San Ramon police Lt. Denton Carlson confirmed this week local investigators believe Mapa is the woman who robbed the Pacific Service Credit Union on Crow Canyon Place on May 26.
During that incident, a woman walked into the credit union around 1:22 p.m., handed the teller a demand note and absconded with an undisclosed amount of cash, Carlson said. No weapon was seen during the incident, he added.
San Ramon police had been investigating the robbery since May, including releasing photographs on social media of the robber, who was seen wearing a Chevrolet ball cap, bright orange vest, sunglasses and black gloves while carrying a black purse or bag.
With the arrest two weeks ago, San Ramon police are working with the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office to charge Mapa in connection with the local Pacific Services Credit Union robbery, Carlson said.
"Our detectives are working with their District Attorney's Office to determine if charges will be filed in their county in conjunction with their cases or separately in Contra Costa County," the lieutenant said.
Mapa remains in custody at the Santa Clara County Main Jail, according to Carlson.
The breakthrough in the Santa Clara County investigation apparently came after the Sunnyvale robbery, when a crime investigator obtained a fingerprint from a bank pamphlet handled during that incident. Investigators used the fingerprint to identify Mapa and issued a warrant for her arrest, according to the sheriff's office.
The sheriff's office reportedly conducted surveillance on Mapa and searched her East Palo Alto home, where they allegedly found clothing used during different robberies, a wig, cash from one of the robbed banks and a handgun.
Editor's note: Palo Alto Weekly reporter Gennady Sheyner contributed to this story.