Nickname: The Blues Bandit
Description: White or Hispanic male, between 20 and 30 years old, possibly older. He’s around 5-foot-7 tall and weighs around 175 pounds.
Last seen: March 17, 2017 at approximately 6:57 p.m. at the Walmart store located at 2501 West Happy Valley Road.
Wanted for: Seven bank robberies
Reward: $10,000 reward is being offered by Desert Schools Federal Credit Union for information leading to his identification, arrest and conviction.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation manhunt for a serial bank robber dubbed the "Blues Bandit” is one of the highest-profile cases for the FBI Phoenix Field Division Bank Robbery Task Force. FBI Public Affairs Specialist Jill McCabe says, “He, in each of the bank robberies, he's wearing a dark suit, a fedora-style hat, in some cases, a tie. His dress is reminiscent of the Blues Brothers, and so that's how he got the name, the 'Blues Bandit.' He also wears glasses which we think are prescription glasses.”
The Blues Bandit struck first on Oct. 3, 2016 at 6:27 p.m. when he entered the Walmart located at 2501 West Happy Valley Road and went to the Desert Schools Federal Credit Union branch inside the store. He displayed a robbery demand note and grabbed a black handle inside his jacket. Federal Bureau of Investigation Public Affairs Specialist Jill McCabe says, “He reached into his jacket pocket and grabbed what's believed to be the handle of a weapon.”
The Blues Bandit struck again on Dec. 7, 2016 when he walked into the Walmart located at 5845 West Bell Road at 7:02 p.m. and headed to the Desert Schools Federal Credit Union. He waited in line and then, when called to the counter, he displayed a demand note which the FBI says threatened he was armed with a gun. He got away with the cash.
One week later, the Blues Bandit was back at it. It was Dec. 14, 2016 when he was captured on surveillance cameras walking into the Walmart store located at 1825 West Bell Road. He then went to the Desert Schools Federal Credit Union and approached the teller counter. He displayed a demand note, again indicating he was armed and made off with the cash.
Three weeks later, on Jan. 10, 2017 the Blues Bandit -- dressed in practically the same getup -- hit another Desert Schools Federal Credit Union inside Walmart located at 6145 North 35th Avenue. This time he sat down in a chair and the surveillance video shows he nonchalantly committed robbery.
PHOTOS: The Blues Bandit
Twenty days later he was back at it. On Jan. 30, 2017, he robbed the Desert Schools Federal Credit Union inside Walmart located at 13770 West Bell Road in Surprise. This time he waited patiently in line. McCabe says, “If you look at the video, you can see as he walks in, he's almost getting up the nerve to rob this bank. He kind of takes a deep breath, he's fidgeting around -- you see him take his clothes off and put them back on again. Just watching that, we think somebody might recognize a mannerism. The video, the pictures, they are pretty distinct. He has hair on the side you can see sticking out of his hat.” The Blues Bandit walked out the door and got away with the cash.
On March 2, 2017, he would deviate from his normal routine when he walked into Albertson’s located at 3130 West Carefree Highway and robbed the US Bank inside the grocery store. A still image from the surveillance video seemingly shows his facial expressions: He was adamant he would get the money and walk out the door.
“It's possible that he could be getting a thrill out of this. It's really hard to say. But the fact is, that you don't get to do that at the risk of public safety,” says McCabe.
And finally, on March 17, 2017 the FBI says the Blues Bandit robbed the same bank he first robbed, the Desert Schools Federal Credit Union inside Walmart located at 2501 West Happy Valley Road. He casually took a seat.
No one's been physically injured. But McCabe says there’s clearly a propensity for violence in that he has threatened a gun during each robbery. “This kind of activity can take an emotional toll on these tellers who are mothers, brothers, sisters, daughters. They're just going to work for the day to provide for their family.” What’s more, “And in these in particular, there's not only the bank branch, but there are other people inside that store. And that's why we believe this a public safety issue.”
Witnesses say the robber is white or Hispanic, between 20 and 30 years old. He's around 5-foot-7 and weighs about 175 pounds.
If you have information about any of these robberies contact the Phoenix FBI Office at 623-466-1999 or Silent Witness at 480-948-6377 (WITNESS).
Desert Schools Federal Credit Union is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information that leads to his arrest and conviction.
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