GRIDLEY — A disguise-wearing bank robber who has targeted Bank of the West locations in California and Nevada has struck again, bringing his total of larcenies to six.
Known as the “fedora bandit” for his penchant for disguising himself in a old-fashioned hat, dark sunglasses and fake beard, the middle-aged suspect’s last robbery was at a Bank of the West branch in Gridley on Monday. The suspect, described as 5-9 with a slight build and gray hair, also hit a BoW branch in Carson City, Nev. on April 14.
The suspect has proven loyal to Bank of the West in his four-month crime spree.
In each of the robberies he has displayed a handgun and typically uses a black, eco-friendly bag found at many supermarkets for his loot. The bag has straps and unidentified green writing on it.
The spree started late last year in Grass Valley with a Dec. 22 robbery. Since then, the bandit has committed BoW branch robberies Feb. 18 in South Lake Tahoe, March 8 in Kings Beach, then again at the same Grass Valley location on March 31.
In at least one of the robberies he made an attempt to disguise his voice by speaking with clenched teeth. As he approached the teller counter during the March 31 robbery, he told the teller, “Here we go again.”
Surveillance photos from the past two robberies indicate the suspect wore a bright green jacket, a light-colored mock turtleneck shirt, black pants, black shoes and black sunglasses. In previous robberies he has also worn black gloves.
These robberies are being investigated by the Grass Valley Police Department, the South Lake Tahoe Police Department, the Placer County Sheriff’s Department, the Gridley-Biggs Police Department, the Carson City Sheriff’s Office and the FBI.
A reward of up to $4,000 has been offered by Bank of the West for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible. To remain anonymous, call the Placer County Crime Stoppers hot line at (800) 923-8191. Any tip leading to the arrest of the person(s) responsible for these robberies is eligible for a reward of up to $1,000 from Crime Stoppers.