A man arrested at the end of a chase following a La Verne bank robbery is believed to be a prolific bank robber linked to at least 11 heists in Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Orange counties, officials said Saturday.
Dwight McGarrah, 29, is accused of a spree of bank robberies attributed to the “Don’t Even Bandit” dating back to Aug. 27, FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said.
He earned his moniker from the FBI due to statements he made during the crimes, as reported by victims and witnesses, Eimiller said. The robber generally presents a note demanding cash to tellers while making verbal threats that include the phrase “Don’t even.”
His alleged string of robberies came to an end Friday after La Verne police arrested him following a 1:20 p.m. robbery at a Wells Fargo branch, 1487 Foothill Blvd., La Verne police officials said in a written statement.
Police caught up with him as he was driving away from the scene of the robbery, officials said. He was taken into custody after leading officers on a pursuit down the Foothill (210) and San Gabriel River (605) freeways that ended in a crash in the area of Myrtle Avenue and Live Oak Boulevard in an unincorporated county area near Arcadia.
McGarrah continued fleeing on foot but was quickly captured, according to La Verne police.
Following his arrest, investigators learned of McGarrah’s alleged connection to 10 other bank robberies.
They include an Aug. 27 robbery at a Bank of America in Ontario; a Sept. 7 robbery at a Citibank branch in Fontana; a Sept. 8 robbery at a Bank of the West in Alhambra, a Sept. 17 robbery at a OneWest branch in Covina; a Sept. 27 robbery at a Bank of the West in Rosemead; an Oct. 4 robbery a Bank of America in Garden Grove; and a Nov. 16 robbery a Chase bank in Fullerton, according to the FBI.
The bandit is also suspected in three additional robberies that took place between Nov. 16 and Friday’s robbery in La Verne, officials said, though further details on those crimes were not available Saturday.
McGarrah was taken to a hospital for injuries suffered in the crash, officials said. He was expected to appear for an arraignment in Pomona Superior Court Tuesday.
PHOTO: A serial bank robbery suspect arrested following a La Verne bank robbery and police pursuit on Friday, Feb. 22, 2013, is believed to be responsible for a series of at least 11 bank robberies in Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Orange counties since August of 2012. The FBI has dubbed the suspect the “Don’t Even Bandit” based on witness statement that he made verbal threats during his robberies which included the phrase, “Don’t even.” (Courtesy of the FBI)