Don’t rob banks — especially if you’re using your girlfriend’s pay stub to allegedly commit the crime.
Police investigating an Aug. 19 bank robbery in Seymour didn’t have to go far for the key piece of evidence that led them to an arrest.
A note the robber allegedly handed to a teller demanding cash was written on the back of a pay stub — which police promptly connected to his girlfriend within two hours of the heist, according to court documents.
Police arrested the suspect, 20-year-old Steven Gomez-Maya, after learning the girlfriend’s Ansonia address and seeing him driving away from the residence as they pulled up.
Gomez-Maya faces a charge of first-degree robbery in connection with the robbery, which took place about 10 a.m. in the TD Bank North at 249 Bank St.
According to a search warrant in the case written by Seymour Detectives Steven Ditria and Joseph Matusovich, bank employees told police that a man had given a teller a note demanding money and left with about $500 cash.
The warrant says the suspect tried to get back into the bank moments after leaving, but was unable to because a teller had locked its doors. He then left the area in a white car.
Detectives processed the scene and seized surveillance footage of the suspect.
Police posted still photos taken from the footage on Facebook which were shared more than 350 times.
But it was the note the suspect allegedly handed to the teller — reading “This is a robbery, give me 5,000 nobody gets shot.” — that turned out to provide cops with the break they needed in the case.
“The opposite side of the note appeared to be a payroll stub,” the warrant says.
The stub included the name of a company, “AJ Foods Derby,” and a Social Security Number.
Seymour Police Inspector Joe DeNigris and Commander John D’Antona spoke to the head of the company, Joe Rodriguez, the owner of several McDonald’s restaurants in the area. He told them the pay stub was connected to the McDonald’s on Route 34 in Derby.
The manager at the restaurant told police the man depicted in surveillance footage of the robbery seemed familiar but did not work there.
Police explained about the pay stub, the warrant says, and the manager gave them the name of an employee who lives in Ansonia — who had left work about an hour after the robbery due to a “family emergency.”
The manager told cops the man from the surveillance footage looked like the employee’s boyfriend.
She then showed police surveillance footage from the McDonald’s which allegedly showed the same man who robbed the bank entering the restaurant about a half-hour after the stickup and talking to the employee identified as his girlfriend. The footage shows the man jogging to a car similar to one used in the bank robbery and driving away.
DeNigris and D’Antona then drove to the employee’s address on May Street in Ansonia to ask about her boyfriend, according to the warrant.
“As they approached the residence they noticed a vehicle matching the description of the suspect vehicle leaving,” the warrant says.
They followed the car and eventually stopped it as it turned into a driveway. Gomez-Maya and his girlfriend were inside, and while “sweeping” the vehicle for possible weapons police found a hat he allegedly wore during the stickup and “a large amount of crisp ten dollar bills in the center console of the vehicle.”
Detectives then obtained search warrants for the car and Gomez-Maya’s bedroom, where they allegedly found the clothes he wore during the bank robbery.
While being questioned by police Gomez-Maya allegedly confessed to the stickup, saying he needed the money to pay bills.
Gomez-Maya is being held on $250,000 bond and is scheduled to return to court Sept. 11.