A 42-year-old man accused of holding up banks in Banning bank and Hemet by pretending to have a gun concealed in his shirt will stand trial on a pair of robbery counts, a judge ruled today.
Aaron Sterling Gefrerer of Cathedral City was arrested last month after a Banning Police Department investigation, with assistance from neighboring agencies.
After a preliminary hearing at the Banning Justice Center, Riverside County Superior Court Judge Timothy Hollenhorst found there was sufficient evidence to warrant a trial on the two felony counts.
The judge scheduled a post-preliminary hearing arraignment for June 23 and ordered the defendant remain held on $60,000 bail at the Smith Correctional Facility in Banning.
According to police, about 10:30 a.m. on May 1, Gefrerer allegedly approached a teller at the U.S. Bank branch in the 300 block of South Highland Springs Avenue, just south of Interstate 10, and handed her a note demanding money from the cash drawer.
"He was concealing his other hand as if he was armed," according to a police statement. "The teller, fearing for her safety, complied with the suspect's demands, and the suspect fled the location.''
The amount of money he allegedly took was not disclosed.
Banning patrol officers responded to the bank's silent alarm and swarmed the area minutes later, but the bandit had already fled, according to investigators. The ensuing investigation revealed a similar hold-up had occurred
three days earlier in Hemet, also allegedly perpetrated by Gefrerer.
With the help of Hemet police, Banning detectives quickly identified him as the alleged robber in the U.S. Bank holdup, investigators said. Cathedral City Police Department officers assisted in locating the defendant, culminating in his uneventful arrest along East Palm Canyon Drive on May 2.
Gefrerer has no documented prior felony convictions in Riverside County.