Joe Jaramillo, masked Calif. cancer patient, is mistaken for bank robber

Joe Jaramillo, a cancer patient, was confused for a bandit when police surrounded him at a Calif. bank while he was wearing a surgical mask.
CBS Los Angeles
Above, cancer patient Joe Jaramillo, who says he was mistaken for a bank robber when he walked into a Wells Fargo Bank in Montebello, Calif., wearing a surgical mask to prevent germs.
CBS Los Angeles

(CBS) MONTEBELLO, Calif. - A masked cancer patient who had just undergone chemotherapy walked into a Wells Fargo Bank to make a withdrawal, but instead the tellers called the police on him, reports CBS Los Angeles.

Joe Jaramillo was reportedly wearing a surgical mask to fight germs, and when he walked into the bank he was mistaken for a wanted bank robber.

The 57-year-old man told the station he suffers from lymphoma and wanted to do something on his own. He said he went to the bank against medical advice first thing Friday morning.

Authorities reportedly confused Jaramillo for the "surgical mask" bandit, a man who has been on the run after at least two bank heists in Orange County, and is considered dangerous.

Jaramillo told CBS Los Angeles he believes the bank teller was stalling the transaction to give police enough time to arrive. Once cops got to the bank they asked him to stand up and put his hands above his head, CBS Los Angeles reports.

Police allegedly searched Jaramillo's car, questioned him, then apologized for the inconvenience.

Jaramillo told the station he doesn't blame the police but is upset with the bank.

  • Iris Carreras

    Iris Carreras covers crime for