Geezer Bandit- California- 2009-2011 Jun 19, 2014 8:34:06 GMT -5
Post by Scumhunter on Jun 19, 2014 8:34:06 GMT -5
(Above photo credit: amw.com archives)
Elderly-Looking Man Goes On Bank-Robbing Spree And Leaves Behind Clues
In 2009, an elderly man launched a bank robbery spree in Southern California that has fascinated the public and caused the FBI to launch a full-court press. The goal is to put an end to his larcenous exploits. The armed stick-up man has been dubbed the "Geezer Bandit" because at first glance, he appears to be in his late 60s or early 70s, but new video released of the suspect may tell a different story.
On December 2, 2011, investigators in San Luis Obispo, Ca. were called to a Bank of America for a robbery. When investigators made their way inside and talked to the victims, they were told that an elderly man was standing calmly in the line, approached the teller counter, passed a note, held a gun and then took off with the money.
What the bandit didn't know was that a quick thinking teller put a dye pack inside the money bag. When the suspect made his way out into the parking lot, the dye pack exploded, spreading cash all over the pavement. This startled the bandit, and as he tried to pick up some of the money, he dropped his day planner, as well as the note he used to rob the bank, in the parking lot. What he was seen doing next is what leads investigators to believe he's not an old geezer at all.
After the explosion, the bandit took off running like a teenager. It would be hard for agents to believe that the man who committed these robberies was an elderly man. There's a possibility the suspect could be a younger male in a mask, or even a woman dressing in a costume. Agents say a white BMW was seen in the area fleeing from the scene, but they aren't sure if the vehicle is connected.
The Geezer Bandit's Cult Following
This string of brazen robberies began Aug. 28, 2009, when a gray-haired man, now believed to be the Geezer Bandit, held up a U.S. Bank branch located inside of a Vons grocery store. On Sept. 12, the sticky-fingered senior citizen struck again -- this time at the San Diego National Bank. In the first few robberies he did not display a weapon, but on Oct. 9, 2009, cops say the Geezer Bandit stepped up his approach and upped his take by using a handgun to intimidate the teller at a U.S. Bank in San Diego.
A surveillance camera captured clear images of the thief again on April 30 when he held up a U.S. Bank in Vista, Calif. Not letting up, on June 7, 2010, the Geezer Bandit comitted his tenth robbery at the U.S. Bank counter inside an Albertson's grocery store in Poway, Calif.
Because he's been so active, numerous surveillance cameras have captured the old crook as he calmly and methodically approached bank tellers armed with a pistol and a demand note. The FBI says the Geezer Bandit quietly tells the bank teller that he is willing to use his gun, often asks for a specific amount of money, and in at least one of the incidents has used the chilling warning, "I will murder you."
The Geezer Bandit always speaks in a low voice that's only audible to the that teller he's directly speaking to so no other bank employees nearby hear his demands. Police say he always holds his small revolver close and low in front of him so other patrons and tellers don't notice it.
The Geezer Bandit's M.O. has been so throrough that other bank employees and customers never realize a robbery is taking place until he's walked out and made a clean getaway. On Nov. 11, 2010, the Geezer moved out of the San Diego area to hit a Bank of America branch in Bakersfield. During that robbery, he struck at closing time, 6 p.m., and was actually in the act when another employee locked the door to close up. As the old man walked toward the exit, the employee courteously unlocked the door for him to leave, unaware that the elderly-appearing customer had just robbed the bank.
In each robbery, he has worn a hat of some sort -- English driving caps or baseball caps. But in the Bakersfield bank job, he switched styles and sported a snazzy white fedora with a black band. His style of dress is usually a sport jacket and slacks, but in one robbery he wore a blue jogging suit, white sneakers, a white baseball cap and blue rubber gloves.
There has been a tremendous amount of speculation and debate about the true age of the Geezer Bandit. Some tellers have described his skin as looking like make up, but most seemed convinced he was an elderly man. In the Bakersfield bank job, the teller told agents that she was certain the suspect was wearing some sort of very high quality mask. FBI agents have consulted with manufacturers of expensive, "movie quality" full face and neck masks that are realistically life like, and acknowledge that it is possible he's wearing an elaborate disguise but they still have not ruled out that the Geezer Bandit could be a genuine senior citizen criminal.
On May 11, 2010, at a Bank of America in Santee, Calif., witnesses say the the Geezer bandit had thin tubes coming out his nose, leading to what agents say could have been an oxygen tank under his jacket. Police aren't sure if it's a part of his disguise or if it is medically necessary. The Geezer Bandit's mode of getaway is believed to be by car, but nobody has ever gotten a description of a vehicle on him. Agents suspect there could be a driver assisting him.
The Geezer Bandit has grown in notoriety with each successful bank heist, spawning a cult following on the internet and misguided T-shirts encouraging him to keep terrorizing banks. But not everyone thinks the Geezer is a folk hero. One teller he robbed told AMW there's, "nothing funny about it at all. He's a mean, discpicable man who has no regard for who he points a gun at."
The FBI isn't laughing either.
"It's really pretty dumb. When you look at this individual, he's armed and dangerous," FBI Agent Keith Slotter says. "He's extremely threatening. He's had a weapon in most of his robberies. So this is no laughing matter."
Admin Note #1: According to fbi.gov, anyone with information concerning the “Geezer Bandit” is asked to contact the FBI at telephone number (858) 565-1255, or your local law enforcement agency. The “Geezer Bandit” is considered armed and dangerous. A $20,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the “Geezer Bandit.”
Thoughts? I believe this is the first bank robber case in the unknown section- and while some may have made the Geezer Bandit out to be a folk hero- I agree it's not so amusing to the tellers who had a gun pointed at their head and felt their lives threatened. I think- after the robbery where the dye pack exploded- based on the brisk way he was able to run to his car on the surveillance video that I saw on AMW- it is more likely than not the Geezer bandit is a man using a prosthetic mask. This is Southern California after all. What is interesting is there have been no reported robberies since 2011. Did he stop which is unusual for serial bank robbers? Or is the man perhaps using a different disguise now?
Admin Note #2: If you have any news-related updates on this case, please contact us here: amwfans.com/thread/1662/website-contact-form