Geezer Bandit

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"Geezer Bandit"
Unknown bank robber.jpg
Geezer Bandit Wanted Poster
Nationality American
Occupation Bank Robber
Known for Bank robbery
Height 5'10" - 6'0"
Weight 190–200 lb (86–91 kg)
Criminal status At large
Reward amount
$20,000
Capture status
Fugitive
Wanted by
FBI
Wanted since August 2009

"Geezer Bandit" is the name given by the FBI to a man who was robbing banks in Southern California.[1] The Geezer Bandit is accused of robbing at least sixteen banks so far, many in the San Diego, California area. His most recent robbery occurred on Friday, December 2, 2011.

Investigation[edit]

The FBI's field offices in California are working with local law enforcement to solve the serial robberies in Southern California. The Geezer Bandit was listed on America's Most Wanted in October 2010.[2] On February 5, 2011, John Walsh highlighted the Geezer bandit on America's Most wanted.[3] Currently, the reward has been up to $20,000 to provide information leading to the arrest and conviction of the Geezer Bandit.[4]

Description[edit]

The Geezer Bandit is suspected to be a white male between the ages of 60–70 years old who is between 5'10" and 6'0" and between 190 to 200 lb with an average build, and judging from footage and eyewitness accounts, he is left-handed.[5]

Modus operandi[edit]

The Geezer Bandit comes into the bank like a normal customer, approaches the teller with a leather case, and then draws a revolver from the case and demands money from the teller by handing the teller a note.[6] A teller who was one of the 13 people to have direct contract with the Geezer bandit stated on America's Most Wanted that she was given a note that read, "Give me $50,000 or I will murder you."[7]

Theories[edit]

The man appears to be in his mid- to late seventies; however, some members of law enforcement have stated their beliefs that he may not be an elderly man. One theory is that the man is a master of disguise and is using a movie special-effects mask.[8] The string of robberies started in August 2009 in San Diego, California.

The FBI has started to question makers of special effects masks to get insight into the Geezer Bandit robberies. This comes in part after a white male in Ohio pleaded guilty to robbing banks in a mask that made him look like a black male.[9] Interest in realistic theatrical disguise also increased after a young Asian man was able to board a plane from Hong Kong to Canada wearing the mask of an elderly white male.[10][11]

John Walsh, host of America's Most Wanted, believes the Geezer Bandit is actually a young person in disguise due to surveillance footage of his latest robbery, which showed him running abnormally fast for an elderly person after a dye pack exploded in the money bag he had.

Robberies committed[edit]

  1. US Bank, On August 28, 2009 in Santee, California [5][12]
  2. San Diego National Bank, On September 12, 2009 in La Jolla, CA [5][12]
  3. US Bank, On October 9, 2009 in San Diego, CA [5][12]
  4. Bank of America, On October 26, 2009 in Rancho Santa Fe, CA [5][12]
  5. Bank of America, On November 16, 2009 in La Jolla, CA [5][12]
  6. San Diego National Bank, On January 27, 2010 in San Diego, CA [5][12]
  7. California Bank & Trust, On April 20, 2010 in Vista, California [5][12]
  8. US Bank, On April 30, 2010, in Vista, California [5][12]
  9. Bank of America, On May 11, 2010 in Santee, California, CA [5][12]
  10. US Bank, On June 7, 2010 in Poway, CA [5][6]
  11. Bank of America, on June 25, 2010 in Temecula, CA [5][13]
  12. Bank of America, on November 12, 2010, in Bakersfield, CA [5][6]
  13. Bank of America, on January 28, 2011 in Goleta, California[14]
  14. Heritage Oaks Bank on May 27, 2011 in Morro Bay, CA[15]
  15. Wells Fargo, on September 30, 2011 in La Jolla, CA [16]
  16. Bank of America, on December 2, 2011 in San Luis Obispo, CA [17]

Pop culture[edit]

Copycat[edit]

An apparent copycat of the Geezer Bandit made an appearance in an attempt to replicate the robbery tactic. In an attempt to pull off a robbery, the fake Geezer Bandit was not careful in his getaway, and ended up in police custody. The police do not believe he is the real Geezer Bandit.[18]

Fanbase[edit]

The Geezer Bandit has a following that has started several Facebook pages showing support for him and his crime spree.[19] Several news media outlets have reported that many people are trying to capitalize on the fan draw of the Geezer Bandit by make "Geezer Bandit" t-shirts imprinted with a picture of the felon from surveillance images of his robberies.[20]

On the February 5, 2011, episode of America's Most Wanted, one fan-made shirt read:

GEEZER BANDIT
is my name
GETTIN' AWAY
is my game[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Unknown Bank Robber". FBI. Retrieved 2010-12-06. ; "The 'Geezer Bandit' Strikes Again". ABC News. November 16, 2010. Retrieved 2010-12-06. ; "Geezer Bandit expands his reach to Bakersfield in 12th robbery". LA Times. November 16, 2010. Retrieved 2010-12-06. ; "'Geezer bandit' wanted in string of bank robberies". LA Times. June 25, 2010. Archived from the original on 2012-10-01. Retrieved 2010-12-06. 
  2. ^ "Geezer Bandit". Americas Most Wanted. October 22, 2010. Archived from the original on 2011-01-10. Retrieved 2010-12-06. 
  3. ^ "Reward of $20,000 Offered in "Geezer Bandit" Investigation". FBI. February 5, 2011. Retrieved 2011-02-12. 
  4. ^ "FBI still seeking help catching 'Geezer Bandit'; $20,000 reward offered". L.A. Times. December 15, 2010. Retrieved 2010-12-22. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Reward of $20,000 Offered in "Geezer Bandit" Investigation" (Press release). FBI. December 15, 2010. Archived from the original on 2010-12-19. Retrieved 2010-12-22. 
  6. ^ a b c Martinez, Edecio (November 17, 2010). ""Geezer Bandit" Strikes Again! Tied to 12th Calif. Bank Robbery". CBS News. Retrieved 2010-12-06. 
  7. ^ a b "Women Fighting Back Special Edition". America's Most Wanted. Season 24. Episode 15. February 5, 2011. 60 minutes in. FOX. 
  8. ^ "The many mysteries surrounding the Geezer Bandit". CBS 8 San Diego. June 11, 2010. Retrieved 2010-12-06. 
  9. ^ "Geezer Bandit' Wearing Mask Made By SoCal Company? FBI Exploring Possibility Man In 'Geezer Bandit' Robberies Is Wearing Mask". San Diego News. December 10, 2010. Retrieved 2010-12-11. 
  10. ^ "Police arrest passenger who boarded plane in Hong Kong as an old man in flat cap and arrived in Canada a young Asian refugee". London: Daily Mail. November 6, 2010. Retrieved 2010-12-11. 
  11. ^ Bernstein, Sharon (December 11, 2010). "Realistic masks are must-haves ... for costume parties and bank robbers". Sunday Morning Herald. Retrieved 2010-12-11. 
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i "'Geezer Bandit' gets away with 9th bank robbery". Fox5SanDiego. May 11, 2010. Archived from the original on 2010-05-17. Retrieved 2010-12-06. 
  13. ^ "'Geezer Bandit' strikes again! Elderly robber pulls off 11th California bank heist". New York: NY Daily News. June 25, 2010. Retrieved 2010-12-06. 
  14. ^ "L.A. Now". Los Angeles Times. January 29, 2011. 
  15. ^ "L.A. Now". Los Angeles Times. May 29, 2011. 
  16. ^ "Geezer Bandit Strikes Again!". Los Angeles: NBC LA. November 10, 2011. Retrieved 2011-11-10. 
  17. ^ http://www.ksby.com/news/fbi-geezer-bandit-apparently-strikes-again/.  Missing or empty |title= (help)[permanent dead link]
  18. ^ "Geezer Bandit expands his reach to Bakersfield in 12th robbery". LA Times. November 1, 2010. Retrieved 2010-12-06. 
  19. ^ "Geezer Bandit' Finds Fame, Fans On Facebook". 10News.com. May 12, 2010. Retrieved 2010-12-22. 
  20. ^ "'Geezer bandit' has fans". Post-gazett.com. February 12, 2011. Retrieved 2011-02-11.