The West

A cancer patient wearing a surgical mask has been mistaken for a bank robber and arrested.

According to CBS Los Angeles, 57-year-old Joe Jaramillo walked into his local Wells Fargo bank a day after he had undergone chemotherapy.

He was wearing a mask to reduce the risk of infection.

"I felt so embarrassed and humiliated," Mr Jaramillo said.

Mr Jaramillo, who is battling lymphoma, was surrounded by police after being confused for a wanted bank robber.

Against medical advice, he went to his bank in Montebello to make a withdrawal.

"I just wanted to do something on my own," he told CBS.

The FBI thought Mr Jaramillo was the armed and dangerous "Surgical Mask Bandit", wanted for at least two bank heists in Orange County.

"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," he said.

CBS reports Mr Jaramillo was waiting for his transaction and even told the teller why he was wearing the mask,.

"I told them I am wearing the mask, I just had chemo yesterday," he said.

He said the teller kept stalling him with reasons they couldn't finish the transaction.

Police questioned him, searched his car and apologised for the inconvenience, CBS reports.

The West Australian

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