FBI Joins Search for Mistakenly Released Bank Robbery Suspect

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PINOLE (KRON) — The FBI is now involved in the hunt for a suspected bank robber who was released from the Contra Costa County Jail earlier this month.

Pinole police say they followed 22-year old Gary Fite Jr. and an alleged accomplice after the robbery of the Mechanics Bank in Pinole on Friday, March first. Fite and the other man were arrested within hours of the robbery, police say.

Pinole’s police chief says his officers filed a report with the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office in advance of the 5:00 p.m. deadline on Tuesday, March 5th. State law says criminal defendants must be charged and brought up for arraignment within three business days of their arrest or they must be released.

“There were no warrants, authority, or other charges against Fite that would allow us to continue holding him,” the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Department says in a written statement explaining why they allowed Fite to walk away a free man. The Contra Costa County District Attorney’s office wasn’t available Friday to comment on why charges weren’t filed.

Now the FBI says it’s issued a federal arrest warrant naming Fite.

“Gary Fite Jr. has some connections to Oakland, Antioch, Vallejo, and Reno Nevada,” FBI spokeswoman Julie Sohn tells KRON 4’s Philippe Djegal. “So it’s very possible he might be out towards the Sacramento area. We’re just looking for tips.”

Authorities say Fite should be considered armed and dangerous. If you spot him, contact the FBI or your local police.

(Copyright 2013, KRON 4, All rights reserved.)

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