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Masked cancer patient mistaken for bank robber

July 1, 2013 at 5:46 PM   |   Comments

MONTEBELLO, Calif., July 1 (UPI) -- A masked man mistaken for a robber at a California bank said he is actually a cancer patient who had recently undergone chemotherapy.

Joe Jaramillo said he was wearing a surgical mask Friday when he walked into the Wells Fargo bank in Montebello because he had undergone chemotherapy treatment the previous day and needed to keep germs out of his system, CBSLA.com reported Monday.

However, police mistook him for the "Surgical Mask" bandit, an unknown person believed to be behind at least two bank robberies in Orange County.

"The next thing I know, I have six Montebello police officers around me, standing there saying, 'Can you stand up, can you put your hands above your head'?' What did I do? 'Can you please stand up, sir?' I go, 'Really?' This is so embarrassing, you have all these people at the bank [watching]," Jaramillo said.

Jaramillo said police let him go with an apology after he was interviewed and his car was searched.

He said he blames the bank for the incident because he explained the need for the surgical mask to a teller before police arrived.

"I told them I am wearing the mask, I just had chemo yesterday," he said.

Topics: Wells Fargo
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