Provo Police say 21-year-old Luis Vera and his 19-year-old brother Nicholas Vera robbed the AM Bank in Lindon May 2.
The two are suspected illegal immigrants from Argentina, according to jail documents.
Police say the brothers’ friend, 19-year-old Braydon Madsen, assisted in robbing the AM Bank in Provo June 17 and 42-year-old Waldo Ariel Fernandez was the get-away driver in that crime.
Police say what’s striking is how violent the robbers were considering how young they are. Witnesses say it looked like a scene from a Hollywood heist movie.
The suspects wore business suits, fake beards and wigs.
Police say the two brothers pepper-sprayed a bank employee when they robbed a Lindon bank.
Then on June 17, with the help of a friend, the trio allegedly stormed a Provo AM bank just before closing time.
Andrew Howard, executive vice-president with AM Bank, was working when he said the alleged robbers stormed the Provo bank with guns and Tasers drawn.
“It was vulgar but the gist of it was, ‘everybody on the floor,’” Howard said.
“We had a number of individuals who had guns put to their heads. The gun was racked,” said AM Bank President and CEO, Leonel Castillo.
“All kinds of thoughts go through your mind and the primary thought is please let everyone get out of this OK,” Howard added.
Less than a week after the Provo robbery, police say the suspects may have bragged about the crime to the wrong person.
“In fact, just a small piece of information yesterday from an individual who said they knew someone who was talking about something,” said Lt. Matt Siufanua with the Provo Police Department.
Siufanua said that vague tip later led multiple agencies and the FBI to two homes in Orem Monday afternoon where authorities arrested the brothers and their friend. Police wouldn’t say whether they recovered the wigs, fake beards and business suits used in the crimes but said they found some cash and other evidence.
“They deserve to pay for the violence they inflicted on good people,” Castillo said.
“It’s traumatic. It’s a short period of your life that feels like it lasts for hours,” Howard said.
“I believe the preverbal book needs to be dusted off and thrown at them repeatedly,” Castillo added.
According to a probable cause statement, the brothers’ friend and suspect, Braydon Madsen confessed.
In part, the PC statement says, “Braydon admitted to being one of the individuals involved in the Provo AM bank robbery … Braydon also informed officers that Luis and Nicholas had informed him they had committed the robbery in Lindon.”
Madsen is in the Orem City jail. The Vera brothers have been booked into the Utah County Jail. That’s where accused get-away driver Waldo Fernandez is as well.
Police say at least three of the suspects could face aggravated robbery charges, plus possible federal charges.
The Vera brothers are also on an immigration hold.
Police say if the suspects hadn’t been arrested, they could’ve struck again.
Police are still investigating whether the Vera brothers and their accused accomplices are involved in other crimes.
If you can information that can help investigators, please call Provo Police at 801-852-7200