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A quick response by Santa Maria police officers apparently prevented a bank robbery and led to the arrest of a suspect Thursday morning.

Sgt. Alfredo Ruiz of the Santa Maria Police Department said officers responded to Chase Bank at 2200 S. Broadway on a report of a bank robbery in progress at 11:44 a.m., and arrived in time to apprehend a suspect as he left the bank.

Juan Angel Salinas Pena, 25, was taken into custody and booked into Santa Barbara County Jail on suspicion of attempted bank robbery and a parole violation, Ruiz said.

During the investigation, detectives learned Pena entered the bank and allegedly told one of the bank tellers he had a gun and demanded money.

The arrival of police prompted Pena to flee the bank before the teller gave him any money, and he was apprehended in the bank parking lot Ruiz said.

Officers did not locate a gun on Pena, he said.

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County Reporter/Associate Editor

Lee Central Coast Newspapers associate editor Mike Hodgson covers Santa Barbara County government and events and issues in Santa Ynez Valley. Follow him on Twitter @MHodgsonSYVNews.