FBI seeks new leads on bank robbery suspects

By Edwin Folven, 2/21/2013


The FBI has released new surveillance photographs and information about a bank robbery suspect nicknamed the “Purse Packing Bandit” who has struck three times in West Hollywood and the Fairfax District.

The FBI has released surveillance camera images of the “Purse Packing Bandit”. (photo courtesy of the FBI)

The suspect, an African American woman between 35 and 40 years old, carries a large, dark colored purse during the robberies and threatens that she has a gun inside, although no gun has been brandished. She passes a note to tellers demanding cash, according to FBI spokeswomen Ari Dekofsky.

“She is still wanted, and we are trying to generate some leads,” she said.

The suspect first struck on Oct. 20 at approximately 2:15 p.m., when she allegedly robbed a Citibank branch at 8900 Santa Monica Blvd., across the street from the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station. The suspect robbed a Chase Bank branch at 310 N. Fairfax Ave. on Nov. 14 at approximately 5:30 p.m., and then struck again on Dec. 20 at a Bank of America branch at 8025 Santa Monica Blvd. in West Hollywood. The final bank robbery attributed to the “Purse Packing Bandit” occurred on Dec. 24 at a Chase Bank branch at 3738 Crenshaw Blvd. in South Los Angeles, Dekofsky said.

No one has been injured in any of the robberies, and no getaway vehicle has been seen. The suspect has attempted to conceal her identity in some of the robberies by wearing sunglasses or trying to change her appearance.

“She has been seen possibly wearing wigs, because the surveillance photos show her with different hair styles,” Dekofsky added.

The “Purse Packing Bandit” is described as being 5 feet 2 to 5 feet 4 inches tall and 140 to 145 pounds. The FBI is investigating the case in conjunction with the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department and the Los Angeles Police Department.

The FBI is also seeking information on a different bank robber who struck in the Fairfax District last summer. The suspect is nicknamed the “Haggler Bandit” because he initially asks for a large amount of cash, then “haggles” with the teller for a smaller amount when he is told the larger sum is not available. He allegedly held-up two banks within a half-hour of each other on Aug. 31, first robbing a Chase Bank branch at 100 N. La Cienega Blvd. at approximately 3:15 p.m., and a Citibank branch at the corner of Fairfax Avenue and 3rd Street at approximately 3:40 p.m. The “Haggler Bandit” is also believed to be responsible for bank robberies in the city of Pasadena and Monrovia last August. He is described as being an African American man approximately 20 to 40 years old, 5 feet 8 inches to 6 feet tall and 150 to 170 pounds. The suspect threatens he has a gun, but no weapon was observed.

Anyone with information is asked call (310)477-6565.



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