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Allentown hotel security guard catches a bank robber

By Jamie Stover, Reporter, JStover@wfmz.com
Published On: Jan 15 2014 05:05:57 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 15 2014 06:28:23 PM CST

A hotel security guard proved to be the missing link in cracking a bank robbery case in Lehigh County.

ALLENTOWN, Pa. -

A hotel security guard proved to be the missing link in cracking a bank robbery case in Lehigh County.

The security guard, who wanted to be identified only as John, said he noticed a young man peering into the front entrance doors of the Holiday Inn in Allentown around 1 a.m. Saturday morning.

"I kept my eyes on him. Something told me to go talk to him," John said.

The guard said the man's attire was suspicious. He was wearing dark hooded clothing and sunglasses. The guard approached the man to find out why he was there and what he was doing.

The young man told the guard he was waiting for a ride from his cousin.

"I said 'if your cousin doesn't come here in the next two minutes you will have to talk a walk.' He was like, 'well, I'm not bothering anyone' and he stuck his hand in his pocket and drew a gun," John said.

The guard said the young man was unaware that he was a security guard for the hotel when he pulled the gun.

"Once he stuck his hand back in his pocket, I drew my firearm. I told him to drop the gun. He dropped the gun and I wrestled him to the ground."

The guard held him there until police arrived. The guard later learned the man had been holding a BB air soft gun.

"I didn't know if it was a real gun or a fake gun. I looked at it as a threat, as a firearm. My training kicked in."

His training proved to be beneficial for the hotel and for local police.

"I got a call at 5 a.m. from a detective…He was like 'you know he robbed a bank? We have been looking for him for three weeks.' I was like 'oh my God.' I didn't know he robbed a bank."

Police identified the man as Joshua Santos of Allentown, a man they said is responsible for last month's armed robbery at the Lafayette Ambassador Bank on State Avenue in Emmaus. Police said Santos was able to get away with $1,400 in cash.

"I am glad I got someone off the streets that was a danger to society and himself," John said.