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Press Release

San Diego Man Admits to Robbing Bank Teller at Knifepoint

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of California

Assistant U. S. Attorney Megan Rossi (619) 546-9661

NEWS RELEASE SUMMARY – December 3, 2020

SAN DIEGO – Rafeek Omar Karamat of San Diego pleaded guilty in federal court today to bank robbery before U.S. Magistrate Judge Karen S. Crawford.

Karamat admitted that on September 30, 2020, at approximately 9:59 a.m., he entered the Navy Federal Credit Union in San Diego wearing a facecovering and approached a teller.  Karamat walked around the corner of the teller’s desk, brandished a knife and demanded, “give me money,” and “give me what I came for.” The teller complied and provided Karamat with $2,500 in cash.  Karamat then ran to a white Ford Ranger and sped away.

Karamat was arrested by La Mesa Police Officers shortly after fleeing the Navy Federal Credit Union. Karamat had the stolen money and a knife at the time of his arrest.

“Bank robberies are a terrifying experience for both customers and the tellers,” said U.S. Attorney Robert Brewer. “Thanks to the swift action of federal and local law enforcement agencies in this matter, this defenedant was quickly apprehended and justice has been achieved.” Brewer praised prosecutor Megan Rossi and the FBI for excellent work on this case.

“Robbing banks may sound old-fashioned in today's high-tech world, but it's a crime problem that continues to take a toll on financial institutions and communities across the nation,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Suzanne Turner. “In San Diego, the FBI Violent Crimes Task Force is dedicated to working with our local partners to keep our communities safe from bank robbers and other violent criminals.” Brewer praised prosecutor Megan Rossi, the FBI and La Mesa Police Department for their excellent work on this case.

“Our community is a safer place thanks to the outstanding work of the responding officers and our partners at the FBI Violent Crimes Task Force and U.S. Attorney’s Office,” said Acting La Mesa Police Chief Ray Sweeney. “The collaboration between the La Mesa Police Department and our federal partners is a critical  component to keep all of our citizens safe from violent crimes.”

This case is the result of the ongoing efforts of the Violent Crime and Human Trafficking (VCHT) Section.  Formed in 2019 by U.S. Attorney Robert Brewer, the VCHT is tasked with leading collaborations between federal and local law enforcement in the investigation and prosecution of cases involving violent crimes, firearms and gang cases; sex trafficking and child exploitation; civil rights, and labor trafficking. The VCHT Section oversees the Southern District of California Coordinators for Project Safe Neighborhoods, Human Trafficking, and Project Safe Childhood.

Karamat is scheduled to be sentenced on February 22, 2021 at 9 a.m. before U.S. District Judge Anthony J. Battaglia.

DEFENDANT                                               Case Number 20cr3392-AJB                                  

Rafeek Omar Karamat                                    Age: 35                       San Diego, California


Bank Robbery – Title 18, U.S.C., Section 2113(a)

Maximum penalty: Twenty years in prison and $250,000 fine


Federal Bureau of Investigations

La Mesa Police Department

Updated December 3, 2020

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: CAS20-1203-Karamat