A man who allegedly tried to rob a Bank of America in Murrieta and successfully robbed the Citibank in Yucaipa on Wednesday has been nicknamed the Halo Bandit, an FBI spokeswoman said Thursday afternoon.
Agents and police are investigating whether he's the same man who robbed banks in San Jacinto on Sept. 26 and in Sun City on Sept. 27, Laura Eimiller of the FBI said in a phone interview.
"He has worn an Angels hat in multiple robberies and is being nicknamed the 'Halo' bandit," Eimiller said in a followup email. "Notes demanding cash and threatening a weapon were recovered by police in multiple robberies."
The man is described as Hispanic, in his 20s, approximately 5 feet 7 inches tall with a slender build, Eimiller said.
"Suspect allegedly tried to rob a bank in Murrieta, then is believed to have robbed a Citibank in Yucaipa," Eimiller said.
According to the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department, a man in an Angels ballcap and a Raiders sweatshirt robbed the Citibank on Yucaipa Boulevard in Yucaipa shortly before 3 p.m. Oct. 24.
The same suspect in the same outfit allegedly tried to rob a bank in Murrieta in southwest Riverside County about two hours earlier, according to Murrieta police.
In Yucaipa, deputies responded to a robbery alarm at the Citibank at 34580 Yucaipa Blvd. at 2:51 p.m. Wednesday, according to the Sheriff's Department.
"Upon arrival, deputies learned that the suspect had entered the location and approached a teller," Yucaipa Station personnel said in a statement. "Once at the counter, he produced a note indicating he was armed and demanded money."
The teller complied and gave the man an undisclosed amount of money, deputies said.
"The suspect fled the location through the east doors and ran towards the back fence behind the neighboring liquor store," the statement said.
The suspect was seen jumping a fence dividing the property from the Hitching Post Mobile Home Park at 34642 Yucaipa Blvd., according to deputies. The suspect was last seen running through the mobile home park.
"Yucaipa detectives learned of a similar bank robbery occurring earlier that morning in the Murrieta area of Riverside County, similar in nature to the Citibank incident," Yucaipa Station personnel said. "The Detective Division is following up on leads and is in contact with agencies from Riverside County as well as an FBI agent from the local office."
No one was injured during the Yucaipa robbery.
The suspect was described as Hispanic, light complexion, 5 feet 10 inches to 6 feet tall, wearing blue jeans, a light gray sweatshirt with a Raiders logo, and a blue Angels baseball cap with a red bill, deputies said.
Anyone with more information was urged to contact the sheriff's Yucaipa Station at (909) 790-3105. Persons wishing to provide information anonymously may do so by calling We-Tip at 800-78-CRIME or via the website www.wetip.com.
Tipsters can also call the FBI at (888) CANT-HIDE or (888) 226-8443.