Valley Marine will be tried on bank robbery charges
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A Valley Marine who served two missions in Iraq appeared in court on robbery charges. Marco Lopez, 28, is accused of robbing two banks last year.
Lopez sat calmly in court Tuesday as he listened to witnesses, including his parents recount his erratic behavior the days leading up to his arrest.
Marco's mother, Brigitte Lopez said, "He had barricaded our house, and stapled sheets around the windows. He was worried that the government was spying on us. He would burn papers in the backyard."
Lopez was arrested on robbery charges October of last year after holding up two banks on different days.
Wells Fargo Bank teller Samantha Calderon said, "I asked him how I can help him. He asked me if I liked his hat, kind of laughed and then pulled something from his pocket."
The bank teller was working at the Wells Fargo near River Park, when Lopez allegedly presented her with a piece of paper.
Calderon said, "One half said to open my drawer, the other half said that he would shoot me if I didn't."
Investigators say Lopez left without any cash. But later that day, he went back to the same bank, successfully making off with an undisclosed amount of money.
The next day Lopez robbed the State Center Credit Union in Clovis, while his mother unknowingly waited in the car.
Marco's mother said, "He was very concerned about people overhearing our conversation, which he often did, he was very paranoid."
Lopez was being treated for PTSD at the VA Hospital before his arrest. He says he didn't feel his mental condition improving. After the crime his parents reached out to President Obama for help and he responded, directing the Secretary of Veteran Affairs to treat Lopez.
"Got me the treatment that I needed after the fact," Lopez said. "I just wish I would have gotten the treatment in time, before the robberies occurred."
Despite Lopez's remorse a judge determined there was sufficient evidence for him to be tried on robbery charges. Lopez will be arraigned by the end of the month.
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