The FBI also blames the robber — whose modus operandi includes wearing a baseball cap, and handing the bank teller a note written with a red Sharpie demanding money and stating that he has a gun — for bank robberies across the state, including two heists earlier this year in San Luis Obispo County.
The first of the two Dec. 14 robberies was reported at 1:06 p.m. Monday, according to San Luis Obispo police officials. The robber allegedly approached a bank teller at the San Luis Obispo Wells Fargo Bank located in the Vons Supermarket in the Marigold Center off of Broad Street and handed the teller a note demanding money. The note stated that the man had a gun, although no gun was ever seen.
After receiving an unspecified amount of money, the man fled westbound across the parking lot, said Capt. Ian Parkinson with the San Luis Obispo Police Department.
“He was last seen running across the parking lot,” Parkinson said.
Witnesses and video surveillance identified the robber as a stocky white male between 20 and 40 years old, with brown hair and standing about 5-foot-11-inches tall, according to police officials.
About an hour later, a similar heist occurred at the Wells Fargo Bank on the 500 block of W. Taft Street in Nipomo, according to San Luis Obispo Sheriff’s Department officials.
Shortly after 2 p.m. Monday, a man entered the bank and, in similar fashion, presented a note to a teller demanding money and claiming he had a gun, sheriff’s officials said. Again, the suspect fled on foot.
Law enforcement officials believe the same man — the Red Sharpie Bandit — is responsible for both heists.
FBI officials in Los Angeles said the suspect is also likely responsible for a Sept. 1 robbery at Robo Bank in Pismo Beach, an Oct. 27 robbery at Chase Bank in San Luis Obispo, and 10 other bank robberies around Southern California.