Casalou pleads not guilty to robberyBy Joshua Melvin
A Menlo Park woman accused of threatening to blow up a San Bruno bank during a holdup has pleaded not guilty to robbery charges, a prosecutor said.
Jacqueline Lea Casalou, 50, entered her plea Wednesday in San Mateo County Superior Court to attempted robbery and commercial burglary charges, said Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe. Prosecutors allege she walked into a Chase Bank on El Camino Real on Sept. 8 and told a teller she had planted three bombs around the branch the previous day.
Casalou demanded $20,000 in unmarked bills and warned the employee not to give her any of the "money that explodes," according to prosecutors. The woman also warned the employee that an accomplice was watching everything.
Instead of handing over the cash, the worker told the manager what was happening, and the manager called police.
As officers were pulling up, Casalou ran from the bank, according to police.
Officers searched the area and found no bombs, but did locate Casalou.
She was arrested and booked into San Mateo County jail.
The woman's boyfriend was waiting outside during the robbery attempt, according to prosecutors. He told officers he had no idea what his girlfriend was doing and added that the couple is facing severe financial troubles. Prosecutors didn't charge him with a crime, Wagstaffe said.
Casalou remains in custody in lieu of $100,000 bail and is due back in court Nov. 9, Wagstaffe said.
Copyright ©2010 San Mateo County Times. Published 10/13/2010.