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Sonoma County Sheriff's Office
Friday February 22nd, 2019 :: 11:19 a.m. PST


Sheriff’s Detectives solve 2017 Sonoma bank robbery.

Sonoma County Sheriff’s Detectives have solved a 2017 bank robbery that occurred in the City of Sonoma and identified a 32-year-old Pacifica man in connection with the case. On September 18, 2017 at about 10:00 AM Sheriff’s Detectives state that William Paul Brust entered the Umpqua Bank in the 100 block of W. Napa St in Sonoma wearing a gray wig, dark glasses and a black sweatshirt. Brust passed the teller a note demanding money. After receiving an undisclosed amount of money, Brust fled from the bank on foot and scaled a fence leading to the Best Western Motel next door and was able to get away.
During the follow up investigation, a witness noticed a man shedding clothing and pointed it out to responding deputies who found the wig and sunglasses in a nearby garbage can at the motel. Detectives following up on the case turned the items into a DNA lab and received a good DNA sample, but it didn’t match anyone in the DNA database. This DNA sample stayed in the database for any future hits on anyone who may get arrested with the same DNA.
On February 6th, 2019 detectives received notification of a DNA match on Brust who was arrested in Pinellas County, Florida on counterfeiting and drug charges. Detectives followed up on this lead and found that Brust was living in San Mateo County at the time of the Sonoma Bank Robbery. A previous San Mateo County Sheriff’s photo of Brust and the surveillance video taken from the Umpqua bank were compared and matched up.
Brust has since been transferred to the San Francisco County Jail where he has charges pending for drugs and weapons. Sonoma County Sheriff’s detectives received a no bail arrest warrant for Brust charging him with the 2017 Sonoma bank robbery and he’ll be transported to Sonoma County once his legal issues in San Francisco are resolved.
We want to extend a thank you to the Sonoma community. This is an excellent example of our alert residents working together with their police department to help solve violent crime and make our community safer.

Sonoma County Sheriff's Office
2796 Ventura Ave
Santa Rosa, CA 95403

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 707-565-2650

Sgt. Spencer Crum
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