The PT Cruiser Bandit is now suspected in eight bank robberies – five in the SCV, three in Santa Barbara, according to detectives trying to catch the suspect since June.
In a news release issued Thursday by detectives working to catch the serial bank robber, it was revealed that the same suspect is also wanted in three bank robberies in Santa Barbara County.
Detectives with the both the FBI and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Major Crimes Bureau issued the news release seeking the public’s help in identifying their suspect.
Members of the joint task force released four photographs which they hope someone might see and recognize – three of the suspect and one of his actual getaway vehicle, a white or champagne-colored PT Cruiser.
LASD detectives were seeking help identifying and locating a bank robbery suspect in the Santa Clarita Valley Area.
Detectives described the suspect as a male, White adult suspect believed to be involved in several bank robberies in the Santa Clarita Valley area.
Between June and August 2017, the suspect entered five separate banks and passed notes threatening the employees and demanding money. The employees complied and provided the suspect money, according to the news release.
“The suspect has been seen leaving the location in a white or champagne colored Chrysler PT Cruiser. No employees were physically harmed during these robberies, where the suspect has managed to steal several thousand dollars in U.S. currency,” the release said.
It is also believed that this same suspect was involved in three similar bank robberies in Santa Barbara County between April and July of 2017.
The latest local bank hit by the PT Cruiser Bandit was the Wescom Credit Union on Pico Canyon Road at The Old Road in Stevenson Ranch about 6 p.m. on Aug. 21.
On Aug. 10, a man wearing a fedora robbed the California Credit Union on Magic Mountain Parkway shortly after 5 p.m., the same time of day as two of three other SCV banks robbed since June.
A description of the Aug. 10 bank robber was compared to other banks hit – two in Newhall and one in Valencia. The robber was described as wearing tan-colored shorts, a Hawaiian shirt and a fedora hat.
On July 25, about 5:15 p.m., a lone male entered the Logix Valencia Promenade bank branch on McBean Parkway near Magic Mountain Parkway and held up the bank.
Deputies dispatched to the scene of the July robbery were also given a description of a white PT Cruiser.
FBI agents and LASD Major Crimes Bureau detectives continue to probe two bank robberies in Newhall in June.
The suspect was captured by surveillance camera wearing a white or beige baseball cap, sunglasses and a dark blue long-sleeved shirt.
On June 12, shortly before 3 p.m., a lone male walked into the bank branch of Wells Fargo near the intersection of Lyons Avenue and Wiley Canyon Road and gave a note to a teller demanding money and indicating he had a gun, Miller said at the time.
Bank robbery investigators including FBI agents and detectives with the Major Crimes Bureau called in to investigate the robbery were called back to the SCV June 20 for a second similar robbery at the Chase Bank in Newhall.
In that robbery, like the one on June 12, a lone male walked into the Chase Bank branch on Lyons Avenue at Apple Street shortly after 5 p.m. and walked out with an undisclosed amount of money, having warned a teller he had a gun although no gun was seen.
If you recognize this suspect or have any information regarding the bank robberies, you are encouraged to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Major Crimes Bureau at (562) 946-7893 or the FBI tip line at 310-477-6565.
If you prefer to provide information anonymously, you may call “Crime Stoppers” by dialing (800) 222-TIPS (8477), use your smartphone by downloading the “P3 MOBILE APP” on Google play or the App Store, or by using the website https://lacrimestoppers.org.
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