A serial bank robber identified by FBI agents as the “Faux Badge Bandit” because of a 7-point badge worn by the suspect is believed responsible for the robbery Friday of the Wells Fargo branch inside the Stater Bros. store in Newhall.
Deputies with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station have now joined the FBI; officers with the Pasadena Police Department; the LaVerne Police Department; and the Claremont Police Department, in their search for the Faux Badge Bandit.
To aid in that effort, the FBI released surveillance photos Friday of the wanted man in hopes someone will recognize him.
About 11:30 a.m. Friday, local deputies responded to reports of a bank robbery at the Wells Fargo location, inside the Stater Bros.
“There was just a demand note and possibly a gun seen,” said Lt. Ignacio Somoano of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station. The Stater Bros. is located in the 26900 block of Sierra Highway.
The robber — described as a male, white suspect, believed to be in his 40s or 50s, heavy-set, wearing a cowboy hat — walked into the bank, handed the teller a demand note and left with cash, officials said.
Local deputies contacted detectives with the Sheriff’s Department’s Major Crimes Bureau.
Before the work day was over, detectives had identified the SCV’s latest bank robber as a serial offender suspected in at least three other bank robberies.
“The unidentified white male has been linked to four bank robberies since May 31 and may be impersonating a police officer,” FBI agents said in a news release.
According to witnesses in some of the bank robberies, the suspect is wearing a seven-point badge on his hip along with a shoulder holster. A handgun has been brandished during the robberies and can also be seen inside the holster.
Investigators believe the suspect may be armed with multiple weapons.
During the robberies, the suspect enters the bank carrying a bag and presents a note demanding cash. The suspect has threatened tellers that he would shoot coworkers if the victims did not comply with his demand.
The Faux Badge Bandit is further described as: white, six-foot, 230 pounds, between 40 and 50 years of age.
The Faux Badge Bandit has been linked to the following robberies:
- 6/14/18 US Bank 2355 E Colorado Blvd Pasadena
In the Newhall robbery, the suspect left the scene without incident, despite several shoppers reported seen inside and outside of the store.
No injuries were reported.
The getaway car was described for detectives as a light-colored sedan.
Bank surveillance photographs are being issued to the media in order to generate tips from the public. Anyone with information as to the identity or whereabouts of this suspect should contact the FBI or dial 911. The FBI may be reached 24 hours a day at 310-477-6565.
Anyone who has information about this suspect is urged to contact the FBI or dial 911 . Do not approach the suspect as he is considered armed and dangerous.