SAN DIEGO COUNTY – They’re calling him the “Chit Chat Bandit” because he comes into a bank, chats with the tellers about the banking business, meanwhile demanding money. Investigators believe he engages in the chatting to make it look to others that he is just a regular customer conducting business.
He was first noted on Wednesday, November 26, the day before Thanksgiving, when he entered a Wells Fargo in La Jolla on Girard Avenue. According to the FBI, he came in just after 3 pm, and handed the teller a note demanding all the cash in the teller’s drawer. While the teller was complying, he chatted with her, including a reiteration of his demand for the money. After getting what he wanted, he left the bank.
After taking the Thanksgiving holiday off, he was back at work Friday. He entered the Vons grocery store on Camino Canada in El Cajon just before 5 pm. He approached the Wells Fargo Bank inside the store, and perhaps going for greater efficiency, skipped the note, and made his demand for the cash by just “chatting” his request directly. While the first teller was complying to his demand, he engaged the second teller in the same conversation, collecting money from both stations.
Leaving the store with the cash, the Chit Chat Bandit got on a small green BMX style bicycle and fled. He never did display an actual weapon in the two robberies.
The suspect was described as a white man in his mid 30’s, about 5’10” and weighing 160 to 170 pounds. He has a soul patch beard under his lower lip. In both robberies he wore dark sunglasses and a dark baseball cap. He wore an orange reflector vest during the first robbery. Anyone with information that may help locate the suspect is encouraged to call the Crime Stoppers anonymous tip line at 888-580-8477. A reward of $1,000.00 has been offered for information leading to his arrest.