EXCLUSIVE: Woman Shares Harrowing Experience During Stockton Bank Robbery
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STOCKTON (CBS13) — A woman who was inside a Stockton bank during the July 16 robbery that led to the death of Misty Holt-Singh gave CBS13 an exclusive perspective on what happened inside Bank of the West.
It’s the first time she or anyone else from inside that bank has spoken out.
Janie Martinez was one of the last people to see Misty Holt-Singh alive before police say she was taken hostage and used as a human shield following a nearly hour-long pursuit.
“She didn’t want to go,” she said. “I saw in her eyes that she was scared, and that this was going to be it.”
“Misty was crying. She was saying her daughter was alone in the car,” Martinez said. “She said, ‘I don’t want my daughter to see me coming out with you,’ and they said, ‘Don’t worry, nothing is going to happen,’ and they took her anyway.”
Martinez was inside the bank when Gilbert Renteria Jr, 30; Alex Martinez, 27; and Jaime Ramos, 19 entered the Stockton Bank of the West.
“And they had guns, and it was happening so fast,” she said. “They had the security guard.”
The trio took the money, and were faced with a split-second decision.
“When they found out the police officers were there, they said we’re going to take hostages,” Janie Martinez said.
They decided to take three women.
“They just grabbed Misty, and the bank teller the manager had her keys, and another one they needs somebody else,” she said.
The armed robbers left the bank with a gun pointed at each woman’s head.
“So we all were crying and praying inside that no harm would come to them,” she said. “But they did.”
Renteria and Alex Martinez would be killed in the shootout that claimed Holt-Singh’s life, while Ramos allegedly used the hostage as a shield from police gunfire.
A dark day for the Stockton community and for Jamie Martinez—a day that will forever connect her to the mother and wife who did not want her daughter to see her in danger.
“That’s all [Misty] was thinking about—about her daughter, sitting in the car waiting for her,” she said. “She didn’t want to see her like that.”