The Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department identified a Turlock man as the robbery suspect that was shot by a Stockton Police officer after a high speed pursuit.
The sheriff’s department identified Jessie Bryant, 29, of Turlock as the suspect who pointed a gun at the police officer before being shot. It was later learned the gun Bryant allegedly used was a replica and not a real firearm.
Bryant sustained a non-life threatening injury from the shooting and was treated at a local hospital. Bryant was arrested for evading a peace officer, brandishing a weapon and a parole violation. It’s possible the charges against Bryant will grow as law enforcement believes he is responsible for a string of bank robberies up and down the Valley, from Atwater to Stockton, including one possible attempt in Turlock. He’s also the prime suspect in an Oakdale bank robbery that occurred Monday.
The incident began around 10 p.m. when Stockton Police Officer Brian Breckenridge, a 19-year veteran assigned to the department’s traffic unit, saw a car speed by him on Highway 99, near the Main Street exit in Ripon. Breckenridge was off-duty and on his way home, but was still in uniform and was riding a department motorcycle.
The car matched the description of a vehicle used in a bank robbery in Stockton on Tuesday and Breckenridge attempted to stop the vehicle, but Bryant continued speeding away down the highway.
A high speed pursuit continued into Salida, until Bryant lost control of the vehicle and crashed near the Hammett Road off-ramp.
When Breckenridge pulled up to the vehicle, which was now upside down, Bryant reportedly got out of the car and pointed a gun at the officer, at which point the officer shot him.
Bryant had a 27-year-old Turlock man in the car as a passenger. The Turlock man was transported to the hospital for injuries sustained from the traffic collision. The passenger was not arrested.
During the course of the investigation detectives recovered a replica firearm at the crime scene, according to the sheriff’s department.
As part of a countywide protocol for officer involved shootings; detectives with the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Office, Investigators with the Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office and the California Highway Patrol worked throughout the night processing the crime scene and interviewing witnesses. Investigators from Stockton Police Department were also on scene. Breckenridge was put on a paid three day administrative leave, as per protocol.
Bryant has been identified as a suspect in at least three bank robberies to date and could possibly be responsible for more, according to authorities.
The Stockton bank robbery occurred at a BBVA Compass Bank just before 5 p.m. Tuesday. The suspect handed a note to a teller standing he had a bomb in his backpack and wanted money. The teller gave the robber an undisclosed amount of cash and the suspect fled in a white Ford or Saturn hatchback.
According to the FBI, this same suspect had just robbed another bank in Manteca prior to coming to Stockton, and may be responsible for several other similar robberies.
The Oakdale Police Department suspects Bryant was responsible for a bank robbery on Monday at the Valley First Credit Union. The suspect handed a teller a note and left in a white Ford or Saturn hatchback with an undisclosed amount of cash. Surveillance footage from the area captured an image of the suspected bank robber, which does resemble Bryant.
The Stockton robbery had the same motus operandi as a robbery on Sept. 11 at a West America Bank in Ceres. In that robbery the suspect gave a teller a note claiming he had a bomb in his backpack. The robber fled with an undisclosed amount of cash. In that case the Ceres Police Department received a tip that the same man had been seen at a Turlock bank earlier that day.
This is not Bryant’s first arrest, nor the first time he has been accused of robbery. In 2011 he was arrested by the Modesto Police Department for an armed robbery of a clothing store. Investigators used a K9 to track the suspect, which led them to Bryant’s residence in Keyes. At the home detectives found the stolen cash and the handgun used in the robbery. He ended up entering a plea of no contest and was given a prison sentence. He also has three prior convictions for burglary and drug-related offenses.
He is currently being held at the Stanislaus County Jail.