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Prison letter leads to new charges for Turlock man
zeb grunloh
Zeb Boothe Grunloh

A convicted bank robber’s letter from prison to the Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office on an unrelated case led to his arrest Monday on allegations of sexually abusing a minor.

Zeb Boothe Grunloh, 36, was taken into custody Monday at his Turlock residence without incident. He was booked into the Stanislaus County Jail on suspicion of sexual penetration of a person under age 16, oral copulation with a person under 16 when defendant is 21 or older, and annoying or molesting a person under 18 years. Grunloh remained in custody at the jail on Tuesday in lieu of a $200,000 bail.

The case against Grunloh began when the district attorney’s office received a letter from him that he had written earlier this year while still incarcerated for a bank robbery.

In the letter, Grunloh states he had inappropriate sexual contact with a child under the age of 16, said Turlock Police spokesperson Deandra Wiley.

“The victim referenced in the letter was contacted, and confirmed the accuracy of the letter's content,” Wiley said.

In the meantime, Grunloh had been released from prison and was living in Turlock.

Grunloh’s time in prison stems from his conviction for bank robbery in 2016. On Feb. 29, 2016, Grunloh robbed the Farmers and Merchants Bank in Hilmar. According to the Merced County Sheriff’s Department, Grunloh waited in line before reaching the teller and handing her a note that demanded cash and threatened that he had a gun.

A surveillance image from the bank was widely circulated and led to the identification of Grunloh as the suspect. He was arrested the following day at his Turlock home. Grunloh has previous convictions in Stanislaus County of grand theft and driving under the influence.

Anyone with information about the sexual abuse case is asked to contact Turlock Police Detective Tim Redd at 664-7325.