3 of 10 Most Wanted Robbers Hit OC Banks
In announcing that the 287 Southern California bank robberies in 2011 maintained a downward trend in such crimes--there were 2,600 reported in the same region in 1992--the FBI also listed its 10 most wanted serial robbers of SoCal banks.
Three of the 10 who have struck multiple times included Orange County banks on their hit lists.
Here they are now:
M.O.: According to witnesses, the suspect enters bank and announces "Give me all your money" to the bank tellers. The robber repeatedly demands, "Fifties and hundreds." Robber is inside the bank in less than a minute. The robber has been seen getting into the passenger side of various vehicles, including a late model gray or silver four door BMW with chrome rims; a spray painted or silver Honda Accord; or a four door Chevy Silverado Crew Cab Long Bed 1998 to 2000. During at least one robbery, the driver was described as a white male with blond hair.
Weight: 175-190 lbs.
Skin: sunburned, red to pink, possibly peeling or acne
10/17/2011 Comerica Bank, 2432 E. Katella Ave., Anaheim
10/25/2011 (Attempt) First Bank, 25461 Rancho Niguel Road, Laguna Niguel
10/23/2011 Wells Fargo Bank, 8540 E. Chapman Avenue, Orange
01/10/2012 Opus Bank, 2400 E. Chapman Ave., Fullerton
01/24/2012 NuVision FCU, 20100 Magnolia St.,Huntington Beach
M.O.: Suspect passes a note in which he demands cash and threatens a weapon. Suspect has worn baseball hats with oversized bills, sunglasses and, in some cases, plaid shirts. In certain robberies, the suspect has been described has having worn an Ace-type bandage on his right hand.
Weight: 180 lbs.
02/07/2011 Wells Fargo, 18529 Yorba Linda Blvd., Yorba Linda
02/11/2011 Chase Bank, 5791 Santa Ana Canyon, Anaheim Hills
05/16/2011 East West Bank, 14845 Jeffrey Road, Irvine
01/06/2012 Orange County's Credit Union, 17504 Yorba Linda Blvd., Yorba Linda
01/09/2012 Chase Bank, 25872 Muirlands, Mission Viejo
01/18/2012 East West Bank, 14845 Jeffrey, Irvine
01/20/2012 Citibank, 6436 Irvine Blvd., Irvine
M.O.: Approaches victim teller and presents a note that reads, "I'm here to make a deposit," "Give me the money quickly," and "I have a gun." Threatens a weapon.
Hair: blond, curly, shoulder-length
Weight: 160-185 lbs.
Wearing: Black shades, rain coat, beanie hat
12/20/2011 Chase Bank, 24085 El Toro, Laguna Hills
01/09/2012 Bank of America, 8132 Santa Ana Canyon Rd, Anaheim Hills
01/28/2012 U.S. Bank, 25636 Crown Valley Parkway, Ladera Ranch
01/31/2012 Union Bank, 2865 East Coast Highway, Corona del Mar
Anyone with information that can help nab the robbers is asked to dial 9-1-1 immediately or call the FBI 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at 888.226.8443. And to prove such tips do help, the bureau released names of bandits captured this month, including these alleged to have preyed in Orange County:
Eric Allen Jones, 41, was arrested last week and is suspected to be responsible for bank robberies attributed to the "Bucket Hat Bandit" and the "Comply Bandit" for a series of six robberies in Orange County between November 2011 and January 2012. Jones will be prosecuted by the Orange County District Attorney's office (OCDA).
Francisco Gallegos, 34, of Cudahy, the suspected "Bubble Wrap Bandit," was arrested earlier this month in connection with seven bank robberies in Orange and Los Angeles counties. Gallegos will be prosecuted by the OCDA.
Steven Craig Hart, 49, of Carlsbad, the suspected "Dying Son Bandit" was arrested in San Diego County on Jan. 21 after law enforcement received a tip, following the publicity the case received. Hart is suspected in 10 robberies in Orange and San Diego counties. He is to be prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of California (San Diego).
Paul Acosta, 28, of Los Angeles; Andres Soto, 50, of Whittier; and Richard Valdez, 52, of La Habra, part of the suspected "Market Duo Bandit" series, were arrested earlier this month in connection with a series of bank robberies in Orange County supermarkets. Following a robbery that occurred on Jan. 5, police in multiple cities were led by suspects on a high speed pursuit. Acosta, Soto and Valdez will be prosecuted by the OCDA.
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