35 dogs found in deplorable conditions at SoCal home after bank robbery suspect's arrest

CORONA, Calif. -- Thirty-five dogs were found living in deplorable conditions at the Corona home of a bank robbery suspect after the 72-year-old man was arrested Wednesday, authorities said.

Robert Bustamante Flores was taken into custody at the Corona Police Department after he went to the station for an unrelated matter, according to a news release.

Investigators saw Flores' vehicle and linked it to a robbery that occurred at Pacific Western Bank in the 1000 block of Sixth Street in Corona on June 20. The suspect allegedly gave a teller a demand note and received cash in the incident.

Robbery-homicide detectives questioned Flores about the robbery, then wrote a search warrant for his home.

"The suspect told us that he has several -- upwards of twentysomething dogs -- on the property" in the 100 block of Vicentia Avenue, said police Detective Andy Bryant. Flores told investigators that he stays in the garage and the dogs lived in the residence, police said.

Animal control officers assisted authorities in serving the search warrant, and removing 35 dogs, including seven puppies, from the home. Many were emaciated and exhibited symptoms of disease.

"I have 25 years in law enforcement. Not one of us have been in a more squalor-laden, disturbing environment as we saw there," Bryant said.

The animals were taken to the Corona Animal Shelter where they were fed, hydrated and evaluated while quarantined.

One of the adult dogs had to be "humanely euthanized as a result of its several open wounds and its extreme medical condition," the news release said.

The other animals are expected to recover.

"They need good food, they need medication for the worms, fleas," said Dr. Sahiv Vander, a veterinarian at the shelter. "They will be alright. They just need some attention."

Flores was booked on suspicion of robbery and his bail was set at $30,000. Additional charges are pending in connection with the animal cruelty investigation, police said.

Adoption information for the rescued dogs is available on the city of Corona's official website.

Anyone with information about the robbery or the animal cruelty is asked to call police Detective Mario Hernandez at (951) 279-3659.
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