Begin New Search
Refine Last Search
Cemetery Lookup
Add Burial Records
Help with Find A Grave

Top Contributors
Success Stories
Community Forums
Find A Grave Store

Log In
Emil Dechebal Matasareanu
Birth: Jul. 19, 1966
Death: Feb. 28, 1997
North Hollywood
Los Angeles County
California, USA

One of two bank robbers who perpetrated the infamous Bank of America robbery on February 28, 1997. On February 28, 1997, at 9:15 AM, Emil Dechebal Matasareanu and Larry Eugene Phillips, Jr, walked into a Bank of America in Van Nuys, California on Laurel Canyon Boulevard not far from the Disney, Universal and Warner Bros. studios. A total of 32 customers and 10 employees were present in the bank when the two men entered it. Both men were wearing all black, including ski masks, and both were also wearing high quality body armor. While in the bank the robbers netted $300,000, then shot and injured several individuals in the bank then instructed everyone to get in the vault. Meanwhile, an L.A.P.D. officer spotted the 2 men robbing the bank and called for backup and surrounded the bank with more than 200 officers. When the 2 men emerged from the bank, Matasareanu got in the getaway car and Phillips opened fire with a fully automatic AK-47 assault rifle with armor piercing bullets and sprayed the neighborhood with an astonishing 1,100 rounds in under 20 minutes. Several policemen and civlians were hit. Phillips was hit 9 times but because he was clad from chest to toe with body armor the .38 and .45 caliber bullets literally bounced off of him. After Phillips' ammunition was almost exhausted the 2 robbers left the bank with Matasareanu driving the getaway car and Phillips walking alongside it still firing at police. They then went separate directions; Phillips on foot and Matasareanu in the getaway car. Shortly after they parted ways, Phillips died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Matasareanu, meanwhile, drove a few blocks and attempted to ditch the getaway car and steal a truck. He unloaded all his remaining ammunition into the truck and was about to drive off when a S.W.A.T. team drove up and engaged him at close range. Matasareanu was hit a total of 29 times and died at the scene. In all, 11 police officers were severely wounded, and six civilian bystanders were injured. Incredibly, the only 2 killed were the bank robbers themselves. It was the bloodiest crime spree and shootout in the history of the Los Angeles Police Department. (bio by: Soorus) 

Cause of death: Shot by Police
Cremated, Ashes scattered.
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Soorus
Record added: Aug 11, 2002
Find A Grave Memorial# 6681336
Emil Dechebal Matasareanu
Added by: Soorus
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

The Virtual Flowers feature has been turned off for this memorial because it was being continually misused.
Do you have a photo to add? Click here
How famous was this person?
Current ranking for this person: (2.7 after 42 votes)

Privacy Statement and Terms of Service UPDATED