May 11, 2010 (Santee) – At 9:48 this morning, a man believed to be the “geezer bandit” robbed the Bank of America at 9711 Mission Gorge Road in Santee.
“He had a blue baseball cap and blue sport coat,” said Sergeant Tom Poulin, detective with the Santee Sheriff’s Department. A witness said the robber also had an oxygen tank.
“He showed the teller a handgun,” said Lt. Hank Turner with the San Diego Sheriff’s media relations line, adding that an unknown amount of cash was taken.
Sheriff’s deputies arrived within minutes but could not locate the man, who was last seen walking westbound from the bank through a complex in the 9600 block of Mission Gorge Road. A search was also conducted of a trolley nearby.
The FBI describes the Geezer bandit as a white man between 60 and 70 years old, about 6 feet tall and 190 pounds.
Authorities believe the man is the same thief who has held up eight banks in San Diego County since his first strike, which occurred August 28, 2009 at a U.S. Bank also located in Santee. Since then he has struck banks in La Jolla, Rancho Santa Fe, Vista and San Diego.
Although authorities have not ruled out the possibility that the man could be a younger person disguised with makeup, Poulin said from videos he has viewed he believes the man is an elderly individual—and that he may still be in the area.
Rewards totaling $16,000 are offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the geezer bandit, whose crimes have made national and international news headlines.
If you have information on this crime, call the FBI at (858)565-1255 or the San Diego Sheriff’s Deparetment at (858)565-5200. You can also report tips anonymously to Crime Stoppers at (888)580-8477 and be eligible for the rewards.
For details on prior robberies, see http://sandiego.fbi.gov/pressrel/pressrel10/sd43010.htm.