The FBI is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of a fake beard-clad serial bank robber dubbed “The Bluto Bandit” who has robbed or been spotted at six banks throughout Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties over the past week.
The bandit has robbed Chase bank branches in Pasadena, Duarte and Ontario, and has been seen “casing” other branches in Monrovia, Chino and Fontana, according to FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller.
In each case, the bandit wore a thick, black, curly fake beard, prompting investigators to nickname him the Bluto Bandit, inspired by the bearded villain in the “Popeye” comic strip, Eimiller said.
He robbed a Chase bank at 3870 Foothill Boulevard in an unincorporated county area near Pasadena about 2:35 p.m. Tuesday, then robbed another Chase bank at 1000 Huntington Drive in Duarte about half an hour later, Eimiller said. The robber was also seen casing a Monrovia bank in between the two robbers, as well as a Fontana bank later in the afternoon.
In the Pasadena and Monrovia heists, the robber quietly approached tellers and handed over notes demanding cash, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Loy McBride said.
“He didn’t really even speak,” the lieutenant said.
But the serial bandit’s crime spree began June 10, when he robbed a Chase bank at 1070 N. Mountain Avenue in Ontario, according to the FBI. He was spotted casing a Chino Chase bank two days later.
Investigators described the robber as a Latino man, 28 to 30 years old, about 5 feet 9 inches tall and 195 pounds. In all of the crimes, he wore his fake beard and a blue, long-sleeve Pendleton-style shirt.
He’s been spotted getting into a white, newer-model Volkswagen Jetta with tinted windows and final three license plate digits of “665.”
No weapon has been seen during the crimes.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the FBI Los Angeles Office at 310-477-6565.
PHOTOS from robberies in Duarte (above) and unincorporated Pasadena (below) courtesy of the FBI.
INDUSTRY >> Coroner’s officials Sunday released the named of a Baldwin Park man and an Ontario woman who died when they car they were passengers in left the roadway and struck a tree along the 60 Freeway early Saturday.
Rafael Flores Reinoso, 49, of Baldwin Park and Michelle Alvarez, 23, of Ontario, died at the scene of the 2:40 a.m. crash along the eastbound 60 Freeway, just west of the 605 Freeway, in an unincorporated county area near Industry, Los Angeles County coroner’s Lt. Fred Corrall said.
They were passengers in a 2006 Scion tC being driven by a 24-year-old Ontario man that veered from traffic lanes and struck a tree along a gore point, California Highway Patrol officials said.
The driver and another passenger, described as a 45-year-old Ontario woman, were hospitalized with major injuries, according to the CHP. The cause of the crash remained under investigation.
An Upland man was arrested in connection with the Monday morning slaying of three in Ontario. This from the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin.
Steven David James Carter, 34, was booked into West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga. Court records show he is scheduled to appear in court Wednesday, although it is unclear if he has been charged in the case.
Officers said they plan to recommend to the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office that Carter be charged with three counts of murder.
Police came to a home in the 1000 block of South Magnolia Avenue at 6:15
Police investigated the triple homicide Monday after receiving a report of an unconscious man lying in the driveway.
The man was dead of what investigators suspect was a gunshot wound. Police found two more bodies inside the home, but are unsure about their cause of death.
Officers identified one of the men in the house as Brandon Perez, 31, of Ontario. He resided in the home and appeared to be the target of the robbery, police said. The other man in the residence, one of Carter’s accomplices, was 25-year-old Albert Lamar Thomas of Ontario.
Police withheld the name of the third man because his relatives have not been notified.
ExtenZe, The “all-natural male enhancer” will honor an Ontario Cop for heroism at Fontana this weekend.
STATESVILLE, NC – Because he went above and beyond the call of duty in rendering aid to a young stabbing victim, ExtenZe Racing will honor Ontario Police Officer Mike Gonzales as an “ExtenZe Local Hero” and give him the rare privilege of being an Honorary Crew Chief at next weekend’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.
The ‘ExtenZe Local Hero’ program pays tribute to local heroes who have gone to great lengths to make a difference. Those people selected have faced danger, sacrificed their own safety for others or in some way displayed leadership that changed their community for the better. Each recipient receives a $1,000 award from ExtenZe, the world’s best selling male enhancement product, in recognition of the individual’s selflessness. Officer Gonzales has selected to donate his award to the Ontario Police Officer’s Assoc. Widows and Orphans Fund.