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INLAND: Men sentenced for sophisticated LA bank heists

By   /   June 11, 2014  /   Comments Off

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Millions of dollars were stolen from L.A.-area banks in break-ins; a Riverside man awaits sentencing.

PE.com-Three Inland men who cut their way into bank vaults through the roofs and stole millions of dollars were sentenced to federal prison Monday in Los Angeles.

Alceu Johnny Andreis, 46, of Banning, was sentenced to 51 months. Lucian Gabriel Isaia, 33, of Beaumont, and Laurentiu Penescu, 39, of Yucaipa, both received 37-month terms, according to online court records. U.S. District Judge Dale S. Fischer also sentenced them to three years of supervised release.

Two other defendants have already pleaded guilty. Daniel Soto, 37, of Riverside, is scheduled for sentencing Sept. 15. Dean Muniz, 46, of Fontana, was sentenced June 2 to 10 years in prison and ordered to pay $4.43 million in restitution.

Authorities believe the men broke into four banks in the Los Angeles area and stole $6 million.

An indictment described how they attempted to burglarize a bank late April 4, 2013:

On Feb. 18, Andreis and Muniz examined the Citibank branch on South Diamond Bar Boulevard in Diamond Bar to determine the best time and method to enter. On April 2, the five men met at Penescu’s home in Yucaipa to discuss plans.

The night of April 4, the five went to the bank, carrying a saw, ladder, black face masks and walkie-talkies. They climbed to the roof and cut a hole, then patched the hole so employees would not notice, allowing them to return later to enter the vault. But the men tripped the alarm, authorities said, and police who had been following the men arrested them.

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