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‘Ho-Hum Bandit’ Tied to Cathedral City Bank Robbery

The “Ho-Hum Bandit” hit his 12th Southern California bank over the weekend, this time in Laguna Beach, authorities reported today.

The Saturday heist at the U.S. Bank branch at 310 Glenneyre St. marked the second time in a month that the suspect had targeted that location, FBI Special Agent Chris Gicking said.

On Friday, he held up a Citibank branch in Corona del Mar at 3021 E. Coast Highway — the same branch he robbed June 11, according to the FBI.

Gicking theorized that the bandit, who got his nickname because of his bland appearance, is robbing the same banks out of convenience.

“We’ve had some robbers who have done this before,” Gicking said. “They usually say they got away with it before, they got a decent enough amount of cash, they know the neighborhood, they’ve already scoped it out and they think, `I’ll do it again.’ They don’t have to do the homework anymore.”

In fact, FBI agents predicted the suspect would hit the Laguna Beach bank again.

“We just didn’t think it would happen so soon,” Gicking said.

Police responded to the hold-up call at 9:22 a.m. Saturday. The suspect handed a teller a note, demanding cash and saying he had a gun, and escaped with an undisclosed amount of cash, Gicking said.

The suspect is a white man in his 30s, about 5-foot-8 to 5-foot-9 and 160 to 170 pounds, with a thin build, brown hair and blue eyes, Gicking said. He is fair skinned and usually wears some type of ball cap, faded blue jeans and white sneakers. At least twice, he has worn a Dale Earnhardt Jr. baseball cap.

His most recent stickup before the last two in Orange County was at a Bank of America branch in Cathedral City in Riverside County on July 15, Gicking said.

But most of his holdups have been in San Diego County, Gicking said. His spree appears to have begun Feb. 27 with a robbery of a National Bank branch in San Diego.

A $10,000 reward has been offered for the suspect’s arrest. Citibank has put up $9,000 and the FBI is contributing $1,000.

Other holdups attributed to the Ho-Hum Bandit include: — San Diego National Bank, on March 9; — Chase Bank, San Diego, on March 25; — Citibank, San Diego, on April 2; — Citibank, La Jolla, on April 8; — Citibank, San Diego, on May 8; — Wells Fargo, San Diego, on June 5; and — U.S. Bank, Laguna Beach, on June 23.

KESQ News Team

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