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Ventura County Sheriff's Office
Tuesday March 14th, 2023 :: 11:14 a.m. PDT


Homicide Investigators Arrest Suspect in Monica Leech’s Murder

Nature of Incident: Homicide Investigators Arrest Suspect in Monica Leech’s Murder
Report Number: 97-33510
Location: Western Financial Bank, 2920 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd. Thousand Oaks
Date & Time: April 28th, 1997 @ 10:15 A.M.
Unit(s) Responsible: Sheriff’s Major Crimes Bureau
Sheriff’s Forensic Services Bureau
District Attorney’s Office Investigations Bureau
Federal Bureau of Investigation  
(S)uspects, (V)ictims, (P)arty, (D)ecedent

City of Residence

(V) Monica Leech
(S) Kevin Ray James
San Bernardino
Sheriff’s Major Crimes Investigators arrest a man who is responsible for the 1997 bank robbery of Western Financial Bank and the murder of bank teller Monica Leech.
On April 28, 1997, at approximately 10:15 a.m., two suspects entered the Western Financial Bank, located at 2920 E. Thousand Oaks Boulevard in the city of Thousand Oaks.  During the robbery, one of the suspects shot Monica Leech, who was working as a teller at the bank.  Monica tragically died as a result of her gunshot injury.  
During the course of the initial investigation, detectives were able to identify two possible suspects that were involved in the bank robbery and the murder of Monica.  One of the suspects identified was Kevin James.  Detectives investigated this case diligently and relentlessly for many years, but there was not enough evidence at the time to bring the suspects to justice and the case eventually became cold.
Sheriff’s Office Cold Case Unit investigators reopened this case in 2021 and were able to obtain further evidence linking James to the murder of Monica.  DNA evidence further supported that James is the suspect responsible for Monica’s murder. 
On March 9th, 2023, Sheriff’s investigators arrested Kevin James for the murder of Monica.  James is currently incarcerated at the Ventura County Jail without bail.
Anyone with information about this crime or Kevin James that can further assist investigators are encouraged to contact the Cold Case Unit at the below listed phone number or email address.
The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office Cold Case Unit is comprised of investigators from the Sheriff’s Office and District Attorney’s Office, who collectively review and investigate unsolved homicide cases.  The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office Cold Case Unit values any information that may assist in solving a cold case homicide and bring justice to the victims and their families.  Information can be provided There are two ways to provide information:
  • Call the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Bureau at (805) 383-8704.
  • Email the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Bureau at [email protected].
Prepared by: Sergeant Albert Ramirez  
News Release Date: March 14, 2023  
Media Follow-Up Contact: Captain Cameron Henderson (PIO)
(805) 654-2417
[email protected]
Sergeant Albert Ramirez
(805) 684-4761
[email protected]
Approved by:
Booking Photo Release:
Captain Victor Medina
 YES     NO  
Ventura County Crime Stoppers will pay up to $1,000 reward for information, which leads to the arrest and criminal complaint against the person(s) responsible for this crime.  The caller may remain anonymous.  The call is not recorded.  Call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477).   

Ventura County Sheriff's Office
800 S Victoria Ave
Ventura, CA 93003

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 805-654-9511

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