Police: Denver robbery suspect wore shirt with his name on it, drove his own car to bank hold-up

Man told wife he 'borrowed' the money, police say

DENVER - Police and FBI agents cracked a Denver bank robbery case in five hours -- but they had lots of help from the suspect.

According to court records, 68-year-old John David Martinez was wearing a black T-shirt with his first name on it when he entered the Wells Fargo bank at 1777 W. 38th Ave. just after 9 a.m. Tuesday.

The man's next mistake was driving a silver Honda sedan that was registered in his name. Investigators soon identified Martinez as the suspect through the license plate, according to a police probable cause statement supporting the man's arrest.  

After being greeted by a female teller, the suspect, an older man with white hair and a salt-and-pepper beard, said, "This is a robbery, give me the money," the statement read.

He handed the teller a dark zippered bag, which she filled with money. Then he instructed the teller to hand the bag to the next teller, who added money to it.

"That's enough," the robber said.

Then he walked from the bank and took off in the Honda sedan.

An investigator identified the car owner as John David Martinez and obtained a copy of his driver's license photo, the statement said. The investigator noted that the DMV photo of Martinez matched surveillance video images of the man who robbed the Wells Fargo bank.

The investigator showed a bank teller four photographs of different men and she pointed to the fourth photo of Martinez. "That's him. He's the one who robbed the bank this morning," the teller said. A second teller also picked Martinez's photo out of the lineup, according to the police statement.

At about 2 p.m., police found Martinez's silver 2001 Honda Accord parked at a Ramada Inn at 2601 Zuni St. The motel manager told police that Martinez and his wife were in room No. 142.

Police and FBI agents went to the room and arrested Martinez.

As a police investigator was driving Martinez to the FBI Rocky Mountain Safe Streets Task Force headquarters, a supervisor called the detective's cellphone. The supervisor told the detective to call back when he could talk privately, without using the hands-free speaker.

"He probably wants to tell you he found the money," Martinez told the cop. The detective looked at the suspect, who added: "That I took from the back this morning."

During a recorded interview, Martinez waived his right to remain silent, police said.

Martinez said that he and his wife had been evicted from their home three weeks ago and they'd moved into the Ramada Inn three days earlier.

The suspect told investigators that he got up that morning while his wife was still asleep, drove straight to the bank and robbed it, the police statement stated.

He drove back to the motel and later "told his wife that he had borrowed the money and did not tell her that he had robbed the bank," according to the statement.

Martinez was booked into Denver jail on investigation of felony robbery involving $20,000 or more, according to the Denver jail website.

Martinez has prior arrests for assault with a deadly weapon, forgery, criminal impersonation, DUI hit and run and resisting arrest, according to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.

By Saturday, the story garnered covered by media worldwide.

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