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'Geezer Bandit' Wanted in CA Bank Heists

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By Kamika Dunlap on November 18, 2009 12:50 PM

A retirement aged thief is allegedly behind four recent heists in two months in the San Diego area.

Law enforcement officials have dubbed the elderly armed bank robber the "Geezer Bandit," and are offering a reward for information leading to his arrest and conviction.

The man, believed to be in his 70s, is suspected of robbing five banks, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.

His motives are anyone's guess.

Criminologists say, the motives are as elusive as suspects can be.

They say the only real way to know why he's robbing banks is to talk to him.

Furthermore, generalizing about the motives of elderly robbers is tough because they're so rare, crime experts say.

The most recent robbery was at the Bank of America on Girard Avenue near Kline Street in La Jolla. The robber displayed a handgun, asked a teller for cash and walked away, police said.

So far, the suspect was captured twice on surveillance cameras. The gray-haired man has a thin frame and weighs about 150 pounds. He was seen wearing a baseball cap, a blue blazer and several layers of clothing.

Here's a list of the robberies:

  • Sept. 12 at the San Diego National Bank on Ivanhoe Avenue.
  • Aug. 28 at US Bank on Mission Gorge Road in Santee.
  • Oct. 9 at US Bank on Carmel Mountain Road in San Diego.

The FBI is involved with the case because bank robbery is a federal offense. The agency has released new pictures and renewed a request for help. Three rewards totaling $16,000 are being offered.

Anyone with information is asked to call the FBI at (858) 565-1255, or contact Crime Stoppers anonymously by sending a message through its Web site www.sdcrimestoppers.com or by calling (888) 580-8477.

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