Solana Beach CA— At about 1:45 Thursday afternoon, March 10, 2016, a 9-1-1 call was placed from inside the Wells Fargo Bank located, 245 Santa Helena in Solana Beach. Moments later, multiple silent, robbery, hold-up alarms came into Sheriff’s Dispatch from the same location.
As units responded to the location, an additional call came in indicating a female suspect had approached one of the bank tellers with a robbery demand note. No weapons had been displayed. The caller maintained observation of the female suspect as she left the bank on foot. The suspect had left the bank empty handed after becoming frustrated with the bank tellers who managed to stall rather than turn over bank funds as demanded in the note.
As the second caller maintained observation of the female suspect, she crossed over Lomas Santa Fe Dr. and walked into the parking lot near the Starbucks at 937 Lomas Santa Fe. At that location, the female entered a waiting black, Chevy Impala occupied by two additional males. The vehicle began driving away as deputies from the North Coastal Station arrived on scene.
As deputies arrived, they initiated a vehicle stop on the suspect vehicle. The driver of the vehicle, later identified as Brandon Johnson (03/27/86), initially cooperated with the deputies orders, but then fled on foot southbound through the parking lot. A deputy on scene pursued Johnson on foot assisted by an off-duty deputy who was in the area witnessing the incident. Johnson was taken into custody a short distance away.
The front passenger, Johnathan Broughton (07/08/91), cooperated with deputies’ orders and was taken into custody without incident.
The original female suspect, Cheri Marinelli (07/21/87), was also taken into custody without incident. Marinelli was wearing a wig as a disguise. Marinelli was positively identified by witnesses as the suspect who had attempted to rob the Wells Fargo Bank.
There was no loss of funds from the bank and no one was injured during the incident. Agents from the FBI responded to the scene to assist with the investigation. The Investigation is ongoing and is being handled by both the FBI and Detectives from the North Coastal Sheriff’s Station Investigations Unit.
All three suspects were later booked into the Vista Detention Facility for attempted bank robbery.