UPDATE, JULY 16, 8:31 A.M.: The alleged Big A Bandit made his initial federal court appearance Wednesday after being arrested at his Santa Ana home the day before, authorities announced.
Robert Paul Simmons, 51, is so far charged with three of the six bank robberies he is believed to have pulled, according to FBI Special Agent Chris Gicking, who said a tip led them to the suspect's door and that two bank tellers picked him out of a lineup.
ORIGINAL POST, JULY 6, 7:03 A.M.: The Orange County Bank Robbery Apprehension Team (BRAT) is seeking the public's help in nabbing the "Big A Bandit," who earned the nickname because of his Anaheim Angels of Anaheim hats and attire worn during the hits.
You may recall the Big A Bandit from this December lineup card:
According to a statement from the FBI's Laura Eimiller, the latest robbery was Wednesday afternoon at a Bank of the West branch in Fullerton. Just before 4 p.m., a fellow walked up to a teller, displayed a handgun, punctuated a demand for large bills with profanity and had the cash placed in a white envelope before leaving. (The complete list of robberies is at the end of this post.)
"The unidentified white male suspect is known as the 'Big A Bandit' because he wears a baseball cap with a large A on the front during the robberies, including [Wednesday's]," Eimiller says.
He is further described as between 5-foot-10 to 6-foot tall and between 190-200 pounds, with a stocky build, which sounds awfully close to your intrepid reporter, although he prefers "husky."
The B.R.A.T. is made up of FBI agents, Orange County sheriff's investigators and police detectives from the cities of the robberies. Anyone with information as to the identity of the Big A Bandit is asked to contact the FBI at 310.477.6565 (24 hours a day) or call 9-1-1. Additional information about bank robbers wanted in Southern California can be found at www.labankrobbers.org.
Here are all the robberies linked to the Big A Bandit:
5/10/13 Bank of the West, Fullerton 10/4/13 Bank of the West, Fullerton 12/6/13 Bank of the West, Fullerton 6/2/15 Comerica Bank, Anaheim 6/25/15 Bank of the West, La Habra 7/2/15 Bank of the West, Fullerton
Here are more looks at him (all photos courtesy of the FBI):
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