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    Man charged with robbing an Anaheim bank one day after his release from prison
    • June 12, 2024

    SANTA ANA — A 53-year-old man was indicted Wednesday on federal charges of carrying out a takeover-style bank robbery in Anaheim one day after he got out of state prison.

    The federal case was filed after the Orange County District Attorney’s Office dismissed state bank robbery charges against Eric Walter Gray on June 4.

    Gray is charged in the federal indictment with bank robbery and forced accompaniment. Gray, who is being held without bond, is scheduled for arraignment June 24.

    Gray had been charged in state court in May with three counts of kidnapping to commit robbery, two counts of robbery, one count of attempted robbery, three counts of resisting arrest and a count of escape by someone in custody with a use of force, all felonies. Those charges were dismissed in state court last week.

    Police responded about 4:40 p.m. May 8 to a report of a bank robbery in progress at a BMO branch at 4501 E. La Palma Ave., between Imperial Highway and Lakeview Avenue, according to FBI Special Agent Trevor Twitchell. Gray loitered in the bank “for a long time,” and then told an employee he was waiting for a ride, Twitchell said.

    After he returned from a bathroom he leaped a teller counter, announced he had a gun and demanded cash, Twitchell said.

    When the teller handed over the cash, Gray stuffed it in his pockets and directed the bank manager and two other employees into a storage room, Twitchell said.

    After awhile he let the two employees go, but he kept the bank manager confined for about an hour, the agent said.

    Gray eventually surrendered to police, the agent said.

    “While in custody at the Anaheim Police Department, Gray was found to have hidden cash and narcotics within his rectal cavity,” Twitchell said.

    Police suspected he had more hidden in him, so they took him to a hospital for a CT scan, where he “repeatedly attempted to escape and fought with officers, resulting in multiple injuries to the officers involved,” the agent wrote in an affidavit.

    The defendant “has a lengthy criminal history that includes, but is not limited to, grand theft auto, robbery, sexual battery and narcotics-related offenses,” the agent said.

    The defendant had been released from San Quentin prison a day before the bank robbery, the agent said.

    Gray pleaded guilty to robbery Sept. 12, 2023, according to court records. He was sentenced to two years in prison for the Oct. 4, 2022, robbery.


    ​ Orange County Register