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Cancer Patient Mistaken For 'Surgical Mask' Bandit

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A cancer patient who walked into his bank Friday with a surgical mask on was mistaken for the "Surgical Mask" bandit and nearly arrested.

Joe Jaramillo, a cancer patient, told KCAL he had undergone chemotherapy the day before. He was wearing the surgical mask to protect himself from germs.

He suddenly found himself surrounded by police officers who thought he was armed and dangerous.

"I felt so embarrassed and humiliated," said Jaramillo, who acted against medical advice to do his own banking at the Wells Fargo branch on Whittier Boulevard in Montebello. "I just wanted to do something on my own," said the 57-year-old, who is fighting lymphoma.

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"The next thing I know, I have six Montebello police officers around me, standing there saying, 'Can you stand up, can you put your hands above your head'?' What did I do? 'Can you please stand up, sir?' I go, 'Really?' This is so embarrassing, you have all these people at the bank [watching]," says Jaramillo.

Even though he told the teller he just had chemo the day before and didn't say anything about a robbery, the person stalled until police could arrive.

Police questioned him, searched his car and ended up apologizing for the inconvenience.

He says he doesn't blame the police but he is upset with the bank.

Wells Fargo released the following non-statement last night: "This is the first I am hearing of this. Because the bank is closed tonight, I can't speak to the branch manager and cannot provide any information until tomorrow and comment on the situation."

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The real “Surgical Mask” bandit is wanted for at least two bank heists in Orange County.