By Edwin Folven, 9/06/2012
A bank robbery suspect who authorities have dubbed the “Haggler Bandit” robbed or attempted to rob four banks, two in the Fairfax District, during a 24-hour period on Aug. 30 and 31.
The suspect, who is described as an African American man between 20 and 40 years old, has allegedly also robbed banks in Pasadena and Monrovia. The hold-ups began on Aug. 22 when the suspect robbed a Citibank branch in Pasadena. On Aug. 30, the 24-hour began with an attempted robbery at a Wells Fargo branch in Pasadena, followed by a robbery at a Chase Bank branch in Monrovia. The following day, the suspect allegedly attempted to rob a Chase Bank branch at 100 N. La Cienega Blvd. around 3:15 p.m., and then robbed a Citibank branch at the corner of Fairfax Avenue and 3rd Street around 3:40 p.m. FBI spokeswoman Ari Dekofsky said in the two attempted robberies, the suspect gave tellers a note demanding cash, but fled before receiving any money. He followed the same method of operation in the two robberies, where he obtained an undisclosed amount of cash.
Dekofsky said the suspect was nicknamed the “Haggler Bandit” because he initially asks for a large amount of cash, and when he is told by the teller that they do not have the amount, he haggles for a lesser amount. Dekofsky added that the suspect threatens that he has a gun, but no weapon has been seen, and no injuries have been reported.
“We believe all of the incidents are linked based on the suspect’s method of operation and the surveillance images we have received,” Dekofsky said.
The suspect is approximately five-feet-eight to six-feet tall, 150 to 170 pounds and wore sunglasses and a hat during some of the robberies. Dekofsky said there has been no information reported on a getaway vehicle.
“We are hoping anyone who may have seen this suspect will contact police,” she said.
The robberies are being investigated by the FBI in conjunction with the Los Angeles, Pasadena and Monrovia police departments. Anyone with information is asked to call the FBI at (888)226-8443.