FBI Seeks Armed, Dangerous “AK-47 Bandit” in Northern California

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) asks the public to help identify an armed bank robber suspected in a bank robbery in Vacaville, Ca...

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) asks the public to help identify an armed bank robber suspected in a bank robbery in Vacaville, California and attempt to access a bank for the purpose of robbery in Sacramento, California. The individual is also believed to be connected to a robbery in Chino, California in which an officer was shot.

The armed suspect is described as a white male, approximately 5’ 10” tall, 180-220 pounds and is estimated at 25-40 years old based on the sound of his voice. In each incident, he has been dressed in tactical gear over a short-sleeved collared shirt and blue pants. He also has worn a full-face ski mask and blue ballistic vest and/or a green mesh vest marked “Sheriff.” During the robberies, the individual entered armed with a shoulder-held AK-47 assault rifle with a drum magazine.

In each incident, the suspect was seen leaving the scene in a dark grey full-size sedan presumed to be a Nissan Maxima with chrome trim and tinted windows. A flyer with photos of the vehicle and the subject in addition to reward information is available at fbi.gov/ak47.

At approximately 4:50 p.m. on Monday, March 12, 2012, Bank of the West located on the 1000 block of Helen Power Drive in Vacaville was robbed. The suspect left the area with an undisclosed amount of cash. The vehicle’s license plate may have been covered during this robbery.

Three days prior at approximately 9:45 a.m. on March 9, 2012, the suspect attempted to enter the Tri Counties Bank located on the 1700 block of Challenge Way in Sacramento through locked doors at the rear of the building. The doors are always locked and are employee-only entry doors. The employees refused to open the door and the suspect drove away.

Due to the similarities in weapon, appearance and vehicle, the suspect is also believed to be connected to the February 29, 2012 robbery of California Bank and Trust in Chino. An officer patrolling the area came upon the suspect as he was fleeing the bank. The suspect fired upon the officer, seriously wounding him.

Prior to the Chino robbery, a male call a bomb threat into 911 dispatch center from a payphone in the area. Investigators believe that the suspect may have made the call as a diversion to delay officer response to California Bank and Trust.

The robberies and attempted robbery are being investigated by multiple law enforcement agencies including the FBI, Sacramento Police Department, Vacaville Police Department and Chino Police Department.

The suspect is heavily armed and dangerous. Anyone who sees or comes into contact with the suspect is asked to call 911 immediately and refrain from attempts to apprehend the suspect independently.

The FBI is offering a reward of up to $20,000 for information leading to the arrest of the individual responsible for the above crimes. Individuals who may have information regarding this suspect are asked to contact their local FBI office or law enforcement agency. Information can be provided anonymously.

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