By Edwin Folven, 11/29/2012
FBI seeks leads on Fairfax District, WeHo bank robber
The FBI and local law enforcement authorities are searching for a female suspect dubbed the “Purse Packing Bandit” who has robbed banks in the Fairfax District and West Hollywood during the past two months.
The suspect struck most recently on Nov. 14 at a Chase Bank branch at 210 N. Fairfax Ave., according to FBI spokeswoman Ari Dekofsky. A previous robbery occurred on Oct. 10 at a Citibank branch at 8900 Santa Monica Blvd.
“During the robberies, she carries a large purse, and indicates in a note that she has a weapon in the purse, which is why she has been nicknamed the ‘Purse Packing Bandit’,” Dekofsky said. “No weapon has been seen, but it has been threatened. We do consider her to be dangerous.”
The Citibank robbery in West Hollywood occurred around 2:15 p.m., when the suspect entered the bank branch and presented a note to the teller demanding money. The Chase Bank robbery occurred around 5:30 p.m., near closing time. In both cases, the suspect fled with an undisclosed amount of money. No injuries have been reported, and no getaway vehicle was observed.
The robberies both occurred within one mile of each other. The Citibank branch is located across the street from the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station, but the suspect had fled by the time deputies arrived. Dekofsky said FBI investigators are working with authorities from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the Los Angeles Police Department on the case.
The “Purse Packing Bandit” is described as being an African American woman, approximately 35 years old, and between 5 feet 4 inches to 5 feet 8 inches tall. She has black hair, and during both robberies, wore dark clothing and sunglasses with large plastic frames. Authorities have released surveillance camera images from the Nov. 14 robbery with the hope someone will recognize the suspect. Anyone with information is asked to call FBI investigators at (310)477-6565.
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