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2 Orem brothers arrested in Utah County bank robberies

Published: Tuesday, June 24 2014 12:15 p.m. MDT

Luis Vera, 20, of Orem, was arrested, along with two other men, for investigation of two bank robberies in Utah County. The men allegedly wore fake mustaches, beards and sunglasses while committing takeover-style robberies.

Utah County Sheriff's Office

PROVO — Two Orem brothers and another man who allegedly wore fake mustaches, beards, suits and sunglasses while committing takeover-style bank robberies in Lindon and Provo have been arrested.

Braydon Madsen, 19, Luis Vera, 20, and Nicholas Vera, 19, were arrested for investigation of aggravated robbery about 5 p.m. Monday and booked into the Utah County Jail, Provo police announced Tuesday.

A fourth man, identified as 42-year-old Waldo Ariel Fernandez, was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of acting as the getaway driver in the heist.

The AM Bank in Provo, 3670 N. University Ave., was robbed June 17. The AM Bank in Lindon, 144 S. State, was robbed May 2. The Veras are accused in both bank robberies, while Madsen was alleged to have only participated in the Provo robbery.

"These individuals were dressed in suits and disguises. These individuals displayed a firearm, Taser, and pepper spray. These individuals forced all employees to the ground," a police affidavit describing both robberies states. "The suspects then took money from the bank by force and fear."

During the Lindon robbery, at least one bank employee was pepper-sprayed, according to the report.

Provo Police Lt. Mathew Siufanua called the alleged robbers "pretty brazen" and "pretty violent" in their "desire for easy money."

The break for detectives came when they received a "tip from an individual who heard somebody bragging" about the robberies, said Siufanua. That tip, he said, broke the case open and is a great example of why any little tidbit of information from the public helps.

"You never know when small pieces will open multiple doors to solve a crime," the lieutenant said.

Detectives keeping watch on the Veras' house spotted the two getting into their vehicle on Monday. They pulled the men over a short distance later and arrested them.

Search warrants were served on the suspects' vehicle and their homes, where items connected to the robberies were located, according to the affidavit. Siufanua said some of the money stolen from the banks was recovered.

The FBI and officers from Orem and Lindon assisted Provo police in the investigation.

Immigration holds were placed on both Vera brothers. Both men were born in Argentina, according to jail records, and may be in the country illegally.

Although investigators didn't know Tuesday whether the group could be tied to any other recent robberies, Siufanua said the case is considered an active investigation and anyone with information about the men is encouraged to call police at 801-852-7400.

Email: preavy@deseretnews.com, Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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