Radio producer seeks witnesses for bank robbery of 30-year-old Petaluma
On October 28, 1992, a 14-year-old boy robbed the First Interstate Bank on Washington Street in Petaluma. Apprehended soon after with the $40,000 he had stolen, he told authorities he just wanted enough money to run away from home.
30 years later, Spotify’s “Heavyweight” podcast – in which gracious host Jonathan Goldstein guides listeners through a deep dive into a pivotal moment in a person’s history – plans to tell the story of the theft of bank and search for residents of Petaluma who witnessed the events of that day.
“Heavyweight” producer Stevie Lane contacted the Argus-Courier for help.
“As part of the story, I hope to speak with people who might remember the incident,” said Lane, who works with Gimlet Media, the company that produces “Heavyweight.” “In particular,” she added, “I’m trying to find the two bank tellers who worked at First Interstate that day, as well as someone who worked at the Petaluma Hotel at that time- the.”
According to Lane’s research, the boy apparently hid in the hotel lobby for several minutes and even tried to find a room there.
“But that turned out to be a little difficult,” Lane noted, “because the bank is no longer there and the hotel has since changed hands.”
An article published that week in the Argus-Courier describes the robbery in detail. The young man wore a stocking over his head and threatened bank staff and customers with somewhat clichéd language, apparently borrowed from TV crime shows. A sawed-off shotgun was then used to force a bank clerk into the safe, where the cash was placed in a sports bag.
Writing for the Argus, journalist Rob Lopez wrote: ‘The boy, a freshman at Petaluma High School, was arrested approximately 20 minutes after fleeing the bank where he had an account. An off-duty San Quentin jail guard assisting Petaluma police spotted the boy walking down Kentucky Street near the Bank of America parking lot amid a swarm of officers. The boy, whose identity has not been released, has been booked at Sonoma County Juvenile Hall. An unloaded shotgun was found by police in a nearby dumpster.
Anyone who remembers the incident, witnessed it or may have worked in the bank on the day of the theft is urged to contact Stevie Lane at [email protected]