Press release from Laura Eimiller at the FBI:
FBI Agents and detectives with multiple law enforcement agencies in three counties are seeking the public’s assistance in learning the identity of the “20 Questions Bandits,” a group of at least four unidentified men believed to be responsible for eleven takeover bank robberies in Ventura, Orange and Los Angeles Counties.
U.S. Bank, East West Bank, Cathay Bank and several Bank of America locations were targeted by the bandits. Bank of America is offering a reward of up to $100,000* in exchange for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the individuals responsible for these robberies.
During the various robberies, the bandits were extremely violent and, in some cases, displayed weapons. Witnesses have described four black males, in some cases armed with guns, who have forced bank employees and customers inside the bank to comply with their demands for cash and to follow their instructions.
In some cases, the bandits also robbed victims of personal belongings. During the initial robberies linked to this group, the suspects asked several questions while inside the bank, according towitnesses and were, therefore, nicknamed the “20 Questions Bandits.”
The most recent robbery attributed to the “20 Questions Bandits” occurred on April 2, 2010 at a Bank of America in the city of Newport Beach.
The group is also believed responsible for robberies in El Monte and Rowland Heights, Eimiller said.