Fresno car salesmen help capture a bank robber

FRESNO, Calif.

The dynamic duo's attention to detail was very impressive. Thursday was proclaimed Roger Silva and Jerry Stockdale Day in Fresno.

Roger Silva and Jerry Stockdale never expected anyone to make such a big deal. Police say on March 29th 64-year-old Neil Sugarman robbed the Bank of the West Branch in Visalia.

Sugarman then came to Herwaldt Subaru in North Fresno to try to buy an STI sports car. Finance officer Jerry Stockdale was struck by Sugarman's dark makeup.

"He looked like was African-American but you knew he wasn't," said Stockdale. "He had it all over his hands and all over his face."

Stockdale says Sugarman left because he didn't have enough money or a credit history. Internet Sales Manager Roger Silva would later recognize Sugarman on Action News.

Silva said, "When I went home that night and watched the news they flashed his picture and I remembered that hat and the picture looked like he was wearing makeup."

The next day police say Neil Sugarman robbed the Bank of America inside a Merced Save Mart. Silva says when Sugarman returned to Herwaldt Subaru he immediately went on the ABC30 website.

Silva said, "Then I read the description and saw that he had a green backpack when he left the bank and I walked past Jerry's office and saw the green backpack lying on his desk with the money they're counting out."

Silva let Stockdale know he was calling 9-1-1.

Stockdale said, "Roger called the police. I took him in my office and started counting the down payment."

Stockdale says Sugarman had about $8 thousand in cash.

"I miscounted a few times on purpose to kind of slow it down a little," said Stockdale. "I think he was wondering he's never met a finance guy who couldn't count."

A few minutes later police showed up to arrest Neil Sugarman without incident. The heroes just tried to stay calm.

Silva describes how he felt, "It was just like I don't know, something like a cold feeling went through my body."

Silva and Stockdale say it felt good to do something right. Their families are very proud of their actions.

Silva says Sugarman also spoke to another salesman about rock-climbing. He called it a rush, but not as big a rush as robbing a bank.

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