|
Nebraska City News-Press - Nebraska City, NE
  • Bank robbery suspect could be ‘AK-47 Bandit’

    • email print
  • NEBRASKA CITY – FBI officials believe the suspect in the Aug. 22 robbery of a Nebraska City bank might be the so-called "AK-47 Bandit" wanted for bank robberies in California, Washington and Idaho in 2012.
    One such incident resulted in the shooting of a police officer in Chino, Calif.
    "The main concern with this guy is that he shot a police officer before the officer even had a chance to get out of his car in Chino, and he shot at him numerous times," said FBI Omaha Division Special Agent in Charge Thomas R. Metz. "If he's done that before, he won't hesitate to do that again."
    Otoe County Attorney David Partsch held a press conference on Sunday with law enforcement officials from agencies including the Nebraska City Police Department, Otoe County Sheriff's Office, Nebraska State Patrol, the FBI and the Chino Police Department to discuss the details of the ongoing investigation.
    Currently no arrests have been made in the latest robbery, which occurred at First Nebraska Bank on South 11th Street in Nebraska City at 2:22 p.m.
    Partsch told members of the media Aug. 22 that the suspect, who allegedly robbed the bank with an "assault-style rifle," fled the scene alone in an unknown direction.
    The suspect, who was wearing a ski mask, entered the bank at 2:22 p.m., demanding all the cash from the drawers and the vault, Partsch said on Aug. 22.
    The suspect warned bank employees not to give him any cash that contained dye packs or tracking devices. Before leaving, the suspect ordered all five bank employees to enter the vault and remain inside for 10 minutes. He then barricaded the vault door with a chair, Partsch said.
    The suspect was in and out of the bank in three minutes, and no shots were fired.
    Police were alerted by a silent alarm, which was triggered by an employee just before being ordered into the vault.
    The robbery in Chino occurred on Feb. 29, 2012 at the California Bank and Trust. According to an FBI-issued press release, an unknown male caller called in a threat to the 911 dispatch center from a pay phone "in the general vicinity of the bank."  Law enforcement officials believe this was a "diversionary tactic" to delay response to the bank robbery," the release said.
    In this incident, the masked suspect wore body armor over a dark-colored, short-sleeved shirt and blue pants. He was described as a white male, 25-40 with a stocky build. He allegedly robbed the bank with an assault-style rifle, similar to an AK-47, with a sling-and-drum magazine. While exiting the bank, the suspect allegedly opened fired on a Chino patrol officer, causing serious injuries.
    The suspect fled the scene in a dark gray, four-door Nissan Maxima with tinted windows.
    Page 2 of 2 - He is also suspected in the March 12, 2012 armed robbery of the Bank of the West in Vacaville, Calif., the July 6, 2012 armed robbery of the Chase Bank in North Bend, Wash., and the Nov. 7 armed robbery of the East Idaho Credit Union in Rexburg, Idaho.
    He is also suspected in the March 9, 2012 attempted robbery of the Tri Counties Bank in Sacramento.  In both California incidents, the suspect fled the scene in the same dark-colored Nissan.
    In the Washington and Idaho incidents, the suspect fled in a dirty, reddish orange Jeep Patriot or Liberty with a blue stripe on top and a dark blue sedan with tinted windows respectively.
    Since November 2012, nothing matching his mode of operation has been reported.
    "We don't know whether he lived off the money or why he disappeared for a year, year and half. We honestly have no idea," Metz said. "It could have been he lived off the money and ran out, so he's back in business."
    There is currently a $100,000 reward for information leading to the suspect's arrest, so anyone with information is urged to call the Nebraska City Police Department at 402-873-9044 or the FBI at 402-493-8688.

        calendar