Crowds gathered at the Malibu Village Shopping Center last week to watch sheriff’s deputies handcuff an alleged attempted bank robber and take him away into law enforcement custody.

Bank Robbery

The story made local headlines and filled local social media channels, with spectators shooting video of the scene—the alleged wannabe robber in full Malibu beach costume: tank top, shorts, slide sandals and numerous tattoos. But, according to information shared by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office, the suspect has since been released from law enforcement custody and will not be charged.

“On Aug. 30, our office declined to file an attempted second-degree robbery charge against Benjamin Greene due to insufficient evidence,” a statement provided to The Malibu Times from DA Public Information Officer Ricardo Santiago explained. 

According to information from the Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station, a 9-1-1 call reporting the alleged attempted robbery came in at 3:59 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 28.

“A call stated a white male with tattoos and spiky blond hair handed the teller a note. The suspect was wearing a green or a brown tank top and shorts,” Lt. Jennifer Seetoo—Malibu liaison at the Lost Hills Station—read from the report in a phone call with The Malibu Times. (It was not clear what the contents were of the note he allegedly handed to a teller.) The reported attempted robbery took place at the Wells Fargo bank branch located in the Malibu Village Shopping Center in the Malibu Civic Center.

According to Seetoo, it appeared the emergency call came from a cell phone, as opposed to coming from an alarm system in the bank. About four to five minutes later, the first sheriff’s deputies arrived on the scene. About 45 minutes after that, the suspect was in custody.

Bank Robbery

Officers take one suspect into custody.

Contrary to local speculation and rumors, Seetoo said, the suspect was not known to be homeless.

“Even to my deputy that deals with the homeless [community], he was not known to him,” Seetoo stated.

The lieutenant also confirmed there were no weapons discharged and no reports of any shots fired in either the alleged attempted robbery or the apprehension of the suspect. The suspect was, according to Seetoo’s recollection, not armed.

“From what I understand, there was no weapon—I don’t believe when they searched him they found a weapon on him,” she stated.

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