REDWOOD CITY -- A man charged with a Redwood City bank robbery ended up behind bars because a teller made the bold decision to follow him after the holdup while calling in updates to police, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office.

Defendant Marco Antonio Rubio-Baez, 27, pleaded not guilty Tuesday in San Mateo County Superior Court to the Monday robbery of a First Republic Bank, District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said. He's being held in San Mateo County Jail in lieu of $100,000 bail.

Prosecutors say Rubio-Baez, of Redwood City, walked into the bank in the 700 block of El Camino Real and handed a teller a note demanding money. He allegedly said he didn't want to hurt the clerk, who handed over about $4,000 in a bag.

But as the robber walked out of the bank the teller tripped an alarm and followed the suspect on foot. Prosecutors said the clerk used his cell phone to call in updates on the robber's location to police.

Based on that information, officers arrested the suspect at the north entrance to the Sequoia Station shopping center, which is less than a half-mile from the bank. Prosecutors say police found the money on the suspect as well as some methamphetamine. Police didn't report finding any weapons.

Wagstaffe said the suspect told police he robbed the bank in order to pay "rent and cellphone bills and to send (money) to his mother in Mexico."

Rubio-Baez is due back in court April 11 on one count each of robbery and drug possession, Wagstaffe said.


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Contact Joshua Melvin at 650-348-4335. Follow him at Twitter.com/melvinreport.