The FBI says the bandit is behind at least seven bank robberies in the Phoenix area since March, 2009. (Source: FBI)
PHOENIX (CBS5) -
A suspect dubbed the "Thou Shalt Not Steal Bandit" has cut his way through walls and roofs to gain access to banks he robs when employees show up in the morning, the FBI said.
Phoenix FBI Special Agent in Charge James L. Turgal Jr. said the bandit is behind at least seven bank robberies in the Phoenix metro area since March 24, 2009.
The FBI needs the public's help in identifying and locating the suspect.
In the first two robberies, the man forced entry into the businesses next to the banks prior to opening and then cut holes in the adjoining dry wall to enter the banks, Turgal said.
During the third robbery, the robber entered the bank through a hole he cut in the exterior wall. In the fourth robbery, he accessed the bank through a hole he cut in the roof.
The bandit waits in the bank until bank employees arrive for work, then confronts them with a black, semi-automatic handgun or a silver revolver and forces them to access the money, Turgal said.
He then takes the money and flees the bank after restraining bank employees with blindfolds and flex ties.
At the Alerus Bank and Trust in Scottsdale, the subject entered the bank on a Friday evening and attempted to gain access to the vault himself. After having no success, the subject fled without obtaining any money, Turgal said.
During the last incident on July 3, the man accessed the bank through a hole in the roof and left a phone taped to a device resembling sticks of dynamite inside the bank. He threatened to blow up the bank if the bank employees did not place the bank's money in a desert wash area just north of the bank, Turgal said.
Investigators said they believe the bandit staking out the banks and engages in detailed planning before each of the robberies. The man may have previous military experience and familiarity with bank security systems, the FBI said.
The FBI provided a list of banks the man has held up:
-July 3, 2012: Chase Bank, 28523 N. El Mirage Rd., Peoria
-May 25, 2012: Alerus Bank and Trust, 17045 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale
-Sept. 6, 2011: First Fidelity Bank, 6232 N. 32nd St., Phoenix
-Oct. 27, 2010: Johnson Bank, 32621 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale
-April 27, 2010: National Bank of Arizona, 7202 E. Carefree Dr., Carefree
-Dec. 11, 2009: Chase Bank, 4819 N. 83rd Ave., Phoenix
-March 24, 2009: Chase Bank, 8978 W. Union Hills Dr., Peoria
The bandit is described as a White or Hispanic male between 28 to 40 years old. He is between 5'6" to 5'10" tall and weighs between 150 to 180 pounds. He has most recently worn a camouflage ski mask with goggles or sunglasses, a black-zippered jacket, a long-sleeved shirt, dark pants, motorcycle gloves and tennis shoes.
The robber has displayed a great deal of calm, at times attempting to reassure frightened victims, the FBI said.
People with any knowledge of who or where he is are asked to contact the FBI at 623-466-1999.
The FBI Bank Robbery Task Force is comprised of the Phoenix Police Department, Maricopa County Sheriff's Office and the Mesa Police Department.
Copyright 2012 CBS 5 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
Sunday, May 19 2013 1:50 AM EDT2013-05-19 05:50:15 GMT
A 23-year-old firefighter is in surgery at St. Joseph's Hospital in Phoenix. Officials told CBS 5 he is in extremely critical condition after being crushed between two fire vehicles. The firefighter wasMore >
Officials told CBS 5 that a 23-year-old firefighter is in extremely critical condition at St. Joseph's Hospital in Phoenix after being crushed between two fire vehicles.More >
Thursday, May 16 2013 8:01 PM EDT2013-05-17 00:01:44 GMT
Rozenna Luna (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
A mother has been taken into police custody after police say she tried to give away her 6-month-old daughter at a Phoenix gas station. Sgt. Tommy Thompson with the Phoenix Police Department said investigatorsMore >
Police said Rozenna Luna, 36, had been drinking and was on meth when she asked strangers if they wanted a "free child" as she attempted to give the baby girl away at a Phoenix gas station.More >
Sunday, May 19 2013 1:01 AM EDT2013-05-19 05:01:02 GMT
Crash victim Juan Rodriguez with his fiance Amanda Lujan.
You hear a lot about deadly accidents involving motorcycles A Valley couple wants to share their story in hopes drivers will pay more attention to bikers on the road. "The fourth of July, Juan proposed,More >
You hear a lot about deadly accidents involving motorcycles. A Valley couple wants to share their story in hopes drivers will pay more attention to bikers on the road.More >
Saturday, May 18 2013 11:06 PM EDT2013-05-19 03:06:03 GMT
The mayor of Phoenix is calling Groceries for Guns the largest buyback program in state history. In fact, Greg Stanton said nearly 2,000 guns are now off the street and unable to fall into the hands ofMore >
The mayor of Phoenix is calling Groceries for Guns the largest buyback program in state history. In fact, Greg Stanton said nearly 2,000 guns are now off the street and unable to fall into the hands of criminals.More >
Friday, May 17 2013 7:16 PM EDT2013-05-17 23:16:53 GMT
One person has died in a crash near Harrisonville, MO, Thursday evening. The crash happened on Missouri Highway 7 and Walker Road. It involved a car and a tractor-trailer. Harrisonville is in Cass County.More >
Savannah Nash celebrated her 16th birthday last week. She died Thursday when her car slammed into a semi while she was texting during her first time driving by herself.More >
Friday, May 17 2013 11:49 PM EDT2013-05-18 03:49:34 GMT
Everyone wants the right to make their own choices when it comes to their healthcare, but a group of valley midwives says that isn't happening thanks to a new set of guidelines that will likely take effectMore >
Everyone wants the right to make their own choices when it comes to their healthcare, but a group of valley midwives says that isn't happening thanks to a new set of guidelines that will likely take effect next month. More >