DNA evidence links bank robbery suspect to two other crimes

Police say DNA evidence has linked a man they arrested on suspicion of robbing the Bank of America branch on California Avenue to two other robberies.

Tony Henry Jr. now faces three robbery charges and two assault charges stemming from three separate events.

Investigators say the man who in October robbed the Citibank on Oswell Street was seen smoking a cigarette on his way in. The county's crime lab was able to analyze DNA from the cigarette butt that police say incriminates Henry.

Police originally arrested a Justin Jackson following the Citibank robbery. The DNA tests, they say, cleared his name.

Henry was first arrested Dec. 30, a day after the Bank of America robbery, about the same time the crime lab named him as a suspect in the first robbery. Detectives say the robberies were highly similar, and eyewitnesses corroborated their hunch.

Henry was found at the EZ-8 Motel on Buck Owens Boulevard in possession of about $11,000 in cash. Police searching his room reported finding several gaming consoles and new clothes.

Henry was booked on suspicion of both robberies and arraigned Jan. 4. But, in February, police Sgt. Ryan Kroeker says the case took another turn.

The crime lab reported Henry's DNA turned up again, this time tied to an assault and attempted robbery that took place Sept. 23 just outside the Kern Schools Federal Credit Union on Panama Lane.

A woman was approached as she left the bank and badly beaten by a man who was after her valuables. Kroeker says a Good Samaritan came to the woman's aid and fought off her attacker. Investigators harvested the attacker's DNA from both victims.

Following the report from the crime lab, prosecutors charged Henry with a third robbery and added two counts of assault with a deadly weapon.

Henry's defense attorney, Arturo Revelo, was unable to be reached Thursday afternoon for comment.

Henry will return to court next March 22.

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