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FBI Hunts for 'Valley Bandit'

The man has robbed banks in Northridge, Granada Hills, Reseda, Van Nuys, Sherman Oaks and Canoga Park.

The "Valley Bandit" (Photo credit: labankrobbers.org)
The "Valley Bandit" (Photo credit: labankrobbers.org)

By City News Service

The FBI Friday released security photos of two men wanted for two unrelated series of bank robberies in the Southland.

The "Valley Bandit" is Middle Eastern or Hispanic, 25-35 years old, between 5-foot-9 and 6 feet tall, and weighs about 180-200 pounds.

He has been linked to 11 bank robberies since December 2012 in various parts of the San Fernando Valley, including Northridge, Granada Hills, Reseda, Van Nuys, Sherman Oaks and Canoga Park.

According to the FBI, the suspect "generally threatens (victims) with a with a weapon, typically described as a revolver. The suspect holds a gun near his waistband, and has pointed the weapon at bank employees and customers, according to witnesses."

He has been seen getting into a white Mercedes-Benz SUV, and also has been linked to a black, four-door Mercedes-Benz sedan, the FBI reported.

The "Westside Gun & Bag Bandit" is white, 35-45 years old, between 5- foot-9 and 6 feet tall, and weighs about 160-180 pounds. He has threatened that he has a gun and has carried a brown paper bag in which he placed the stolen money. He has worn a cowboy hat or a baseball cap.

He has been linked since May 2013 to eight bank robberies -- three of those at U.S. Bank branches -- with six of the holdups in Santa Monica and one each in Venice and the Del Rey area. U.S. Bank is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to his arrest and conviction.

Anyone with more information about either case was urged to call their nearest FBI office or 911.

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