On Monday October 24, 2011 at about 1700 hours, Clarence Joseph Lewis (III) was arrested by investigating Detectives of the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office and with the assistance of the FBI.
Lewis was driven to the Sheriff’s Office Detective Bureau by an officer from the Hoopa Valley Tribal Police Department. On Friday October 21, 2011 at about 1500 hours, Investigators from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, Agents from the FBI and United States Marshall’s Office served a search warrant at the travel trailer residence of Lewis. At that time, family members were located and encouraged to talk to Lewis and ask him to surrender himself. This may have been, in part, the motivation for Lewis to surrender himself to law enforcement.
On Monday October 24, 2011 at about 1030 hours the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office issued an attempt to locate and arrest on Lewis for the Ray’s Food Place Coast Central Credit Union robbery on Thursday October 20, 2011.
On Monday October 24, 2011 at about 1330 hours, a Hoopa Valley Tribal Police Officer called the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office to report that he had received a telephone call from Lewis, wishing to surrender himself to law enforcement. The officer drove to a residence in Hoopa and took Lewis into custody, without incident. The officer then drove Lewis to the Sheriff’s Office where he was booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility at about 1740 hours. Lewis chose not to provide a statement to investigators. DNA evidence was collected from Lewis at the time of his arrest, pursuant to a search warrant investigators had prepared for that collection.
Lewis was booked on one count of robbery for the most recent Coast Central Credit Union robbery. The remaining bank robberies remain under investigation with Lewis being the prime suspect. Evidence collected from those robberies will be compared to the DNA evidence collected from Lewis, which is a time consuming process.
The investigation continues to be a joint effort between the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI. It has not been determined if the case(s) will be prosecuted at the local or federal level and will be further evaluated as evidence is compared with the other bank robberies.