Authorities seek ‘New Hat Bandits’ in five bank robberies over past six months

New Hat Bandits

The FBI and local law enforcement officials are seeking two bank robbers dubbed the “New Hat Bandits” in connection with five Los Angeles County bank heists in the past six weeks.
The robbers are linked to two robberies in Monterey Park, one in Rosemead and most recently, the bandits have turned their attention toward two banks in Manhattan Beach , FBI officials said in a written statement.
NewHatMontereyPark1114“The New Hat Bandits are described by witnesses as black males who wear baseball hats that appear to be new,” according to the statement. “During the robberies, the New Hat Bandits enter the bank and make oral and written demands for cash.”
According to the FBI, the robbers struck Tuesday at Citibank, 2710 N. Sepulveda Boulevard in Manhattan Beach, as well as Nov. 22 at a U.S. Bank Branch at 3300 N. Sepulveda Blvd. in Manhattan Beach.
They previously robbed the Cathay Bank at 250 S. Atlantic Blvd. in Monterey Park on No. 14; the Pacific Alliance Bank at 8400 E. Valley Blvd. in Rosemead on Halloween; and the Chase bank at 459 S. Atlantic Blvd. in Monterey Park on Oct. 23, officials said.
In the first four crimes, only one of the bandits at a time entered the banks to carry out NewHatMontereyPark1023the robberies, FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said. But both robbers were seen during Wedesday’s robbery.
Authorities described the bandits as black men in their 30s between 5 feet 6 inches and 5 feet 8 inches tall and between 150 and 170 pounds. A black Lincoln Navigator SUV has been described by witnesses as a possible getaway vehicle.
No weapons have been seen during the robberies, Eimiller said.
Anyone with information was urged to call the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office at 888-226-8443, or 9-1-1.


Men rob Monterey Park bank branch

MONTEREY PARK — Two men carried out a robbery Thursday at a Monterey Park bank branch, police said.
The heist was reported about 5 p.m., at the Cathay Bank, 250 S. Atlantic Boulevard, Monterey Park police officials said in a written statement.
The robbers entered the bank just before it closed for the day, police said.
One of the robbers approached an open teller window and demanded money, according to the police statement. The teller handed over an undisclosed amount of cash.
“Once the money was received, both suspects exited the bank and fled,” the statement continued. “The suspects were last seen northbound through the parking lot and out of sight.”
No weapon was seen during the robbery, and no getaway car was observed, Sgt. Paul Yniguez added.
Police described both robbers as black men in their mid-20s. One stood 5 feet 10 inches tall and was of thin to medium build, wearing a black and red Chicago Bulls cap, a red and black argyle sweater and black pants.
The second robber was 5 feet 8 inches tall and also of thin to medium build, authorities said. He wore a black cap, a gray sweater and black pants.
Anyone with information was asked to contact Monterey Park police at 626-573-1311.

Bank robbed in Rosemead

ROSEMEAD — Two men fled with cash Thursday following a robbery at a bank branch Thursday afternoon, officials said.
The heist took place just after 12:30 p.m. at the Pacific Alliance Bank, 8400 Valley Blvd., Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Steven Ruiz said.
The robber demanded money from a teller and fled after obtaining an undisclosed amount, officials said. No weapons were seen during the crime, and no injuries were reported.
Officials described the robbers as two black men in their 20s, wearing black caps and blue jackets, Ruiz said.
No further details were available.

Photos of La Habra bank robber released


LA HABRA — The FBI has released surveillance camera images of a man who robbed a La Habra bank branch Wednesday.
The robber was armed with a small handgun when he entered the Bank of the West, 1330 S. Beach Blvd., about 11:25 a.m., La Habra police officials said in a written statement.
“The suspect displayed a gun and a note demanding cash,” according to FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller.
0906_NWS_WDN-L-ROBBERPHOTOS2The note, which was printed in red ink, stated that the bank was being robbed and ordered the teller to hand over $50- and $100-dollar bills, Eimiller said.
The robber took the note with him when he fled, officials said. He he was last seen running east from the bank with an undisclosed amount of money.
The gunman was described as white, fair-skinned and between 45 and 50 years old, according to the FBI. He 0906_NWS_WDN-L-ROBBERPHOTOS3stood 5 feet 10 inches to 5 feet 11 inches tall, weighing about 160 pounds. He wore a white driving cap, aviator sunglasses, a striped dress shirt, a multi-colored tie and khaki pants.

Bank robbed in La Habra

LA HABRA — A man wearing a golf hat and aviator sunglasses robbed a bank of an undisclosed amount Wednesday,
La Habra police September 4, 2013, at approximately 11:25 a.m., La
Habra Police Department personnel were dispatched to the Bank of the West,
located at 1330 S. Beach Blvd., regarding an armed robbery that had just occurred.
A male white, described to be in his late 50s or 60s, entered the bank. He was
wearing a golf hat, aviator sunglasses, a striped dress shirt, tie, and tan pants and
was armed with a small handgun. He approached a teller with a note demanding
money. The teller complied and the suspect was last seen running eastbound from
the location through the parking lot.
No customers or employees were injured during the robbery.

- Ruby Gonzales

UPDATED with PHOTOS: Man in fake mustache robs Glendora bank branch


GLENDORA — A man in a fake mustache robbed a Glendora bank branch early Friday, officials said.
The heist took place just after 9 a.m. at the U.S. Bank at Grand and Mauna Loa avenues, Glendora police Lt. James De Mond said.
The robber handed a teller a note demanding money and fled after receiving an unknown amount of cash, the lieutenant said. No weapon was seen during the crime.
GLBANKROB1Police described the robber as a white man in his 40s, wearing a fake mustache and prescription glasses. He also wore khaki pants and a blue shirt, as well as a hat.
He was last seen running south from the bank and jumping a wall onto Helensburg Avenue, De Mond said.

La Habra bank branch robbed

LA HABRA — A man wearing a mask and armed with a handgun robbed a local bank of an undisclosed amount Tuesday.
La Habra Police Sgt. Dan Henderson said no one was injured during the 3:12 p.m. robbery at the Bank of the West, 1330 S. Beach Blvd.
The robber entered the bank, jumped the counter, took money and ran out, Henderson said.
He fled in an unknown direction.
“He was in and out quick,” Henderson said.
The suspect was described as a white man, 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighing 225 pounds. He wore a blue shirt and tan shorts.

- Ruby Gonzales

Reward offered for capture of ‘Luger Bandit’

Luger Bandit

Authorities on Friday asked for the public’s help in identifying and finding a serial bank robber dubbed “The Luger Bandit”.
They also released bank surveillance photos.
Bank of America and Wells Fargo are offering a combined reward of up to $15,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the robber.
The FBI gave the suspect the moniker “The Luger Bandit” due to the gun he uses which was described as a silver German Luger-style weapon.
The bandit robbed a Wells Fargo in Granada Hills on Jan. 3, a Wells Fargo in Fontana on Feb. 8, a Chase Bank in Mira Loma on March 12 and a Bank of America in Corona on June 4.
He is also tied to an attempted robbery of a Wells Fargo in San Dimas on March 8.
During each robbery, FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said the suspect orders employees and customers to the ground, brandishes a weapon and demands cash in various denominations.
The bandit left empty-handed when he tried to rob the Wells Fargo at 925 W. Arrow Highway in San Dimas.
Deputies said an armed masked robber ordered everyone to the floor.
But once all the customers and the employees complied, there was no one left to hand over money. The robber left the bank.
Eimiller said witnesses have described the suspect’s vehicle as a charcoal gray BMW, 3-series with a sports package.
Bank surveillance photos show the the bandit wearing pullover sweatshirts with hoods as well as a face mask, sunglasses and black gloves to conceal his appearance.
He also carries a black bag with a strap during the robberies.
The suspect was described as a white man or Latino, 30 to 40, between 5 feet 8 inches and 6 feet in height and about 200 pounds.
Anyone with information on the identity or whereabouts of the bandit is asked to call the FBI or dial 9-1-1. In Los Angeles, the FBI can be reached 24 hours a day at 1-888-226-8443.

- Ruby Gonzales

PHOTO courtesy of the FBI

‘Foothill Bandit’ strikes again, this time in Temple City


TEMPLE CITY — A serial bank robber known to the FBI as the “Foothills Bandit” tried, but failed, to rob a bank Thursday in his third crime in the past two weeks, authorities said.
The robber, who already robbed a Glendora Union Bank branch May 28 and tried unsuccessfully to rob a Citibank branch in Arcadia Monday, showed up about 11:10 a.m. at Wells Fargo, 9635 Las Tunas Drive in Temple City, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said.
Like in his previous crimes, the robber claimed to have explosives as he demanded money from a teller, Sgt. Ben Sahile said.
Unlike the previous crimes, however, the robber did not bring a device into the bank with him, officials said.
“He claimed he had a bomb in the car,” Sahile said.
The manager then emerged, and the would-be robber fled empty-handed, he said.
The FBI has described the “Foothills Bandit,” who earned his name because of the proximity of his crimes to the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains, has been described by the FBI as white, between 23 and 30 years old, about 5 feet 7 inches tall and about 155 pounds.
Anyone with information was asked to contact the FBI in Los Angeles at 310-477-6565.

PHOTO (taken from surveillance camera during June 3 attempted bank robbery in Arcadia) courtesy of the FBI.

‘Explosives Threat Bandit’ sentenced to prison

LOS ANGELES — A serial bank robber dubbed the “Explosives Threat Bandit” by the FBI has begun serving an 11-year prison term for bank robberies and attempts throughout Los Angeles County, court documents show.
William Joseph Allen, 32, of Los Angeles, pleaded guilty last year to six counts of bank robbery and attempted bank robbery. He was initially charged with eight counts, however two were dismissed under a plea agreement.
At his March 28 sentencing in federal court in Los Angeles, U.S. District Judge Philip S. Gutierrez sentenced the convict to 140 months in federal prison, along with three years of probation upon release and restitution in the amount of $26,125, according to court records.
Linked to as many as nine bank robberies and attempted bank robberies in Los Angeles, West Covina, La Puente, Pico Rivera, Venice, Santa Monica and Marina Del Rey, the bandit earned his moniker for threatening to have a bomb, according to the FBI.
The robbery spree took place between November of 2011 and March of 2012.
In some cases, he left behind large manila envelopes with wires protruding from them, resulting in bomb scares, officials said. Though ultimately found to be inert, the devices resulted in bomb scares. Allen was also known to carry a handgun during his heists.
He was identified and arrested by Los Angeles police officers in April of 2012.

PHOTO: This surveillance camera image shows the “Explosives Threat Bandit” William Joseph Allen, 32, of Los Angeles during a Nov. 15, 2011 robbery at a West Covina Bank of America branch. He has pleaded guilty to six counts of bank robbery and attempted bank robbery and was sentenced to more than 11 years in prison on Thursday, March 28, 2013.

(Courtesy of the FBI)