Bank robberies seem so blasé these days -- the creepy man walking into the bank, handing a note to a teller demanding money, and taking off before cops arrive.
But so much more goes into it: what to wear, how to conceal your face, and how to haul away your loot. Styles vary, and there is some creativity involved, as we discovered on www.bandittrackerarizona.com, an FBI-sponsored website. Check out how five Valley bank robbers caught on camera tried to conceal their identity.
Perhaps a gentleman bored with retirement? Short on cash? Whatever his backstory, this 50- to 60-year-old man decided to go with the ball cap and sunglasses to mask his identity.
Not the best disguise, but he was low-key with a pair of loose blue jean shorts and untucked button-up shirt (likely to help conceal the gun he reportedly had stuffed down his shorts) a pair of sneakers. And, he smartened it up a bit with a brown leather binder that subtly says "I'm not here to rob you."
Oh, but he was.
About 11 a.m. May 16, he walked into a Comerica Bank at 925 North Dobson Road in Mesa, displayed his weapon, and demanded the teller stuff his binder with cash. The teller did and he took off in a mid-size silver or light blue SUV.
This guy -- in his mid-20s, about 6-foot and between 160 to 180 lbs -- decided to go with a hoodie and a black bandana for extra protection from bank surveillance cameras. But, he could be identified by his sweatshirt stamped with the letters A-I-R across the back and white nylon shorts with a blue and green square design on the side.
On May 30 at about 4:45 p.m., he entered the Wal-Mart, 1380 W. Elliot Road in Tempe, and walked to the Desert Schools Federal Credit Union branch inside. He approached the teller counter holding his right hand outward pointing directly at the teller, making like he had a gun under his sleeve. He aggressively demanded money, the teller complied and he fled the store on foot.
The ball cap and sunglasses combo is a popular look for the average bank robber. That's what this 20-something-year-old man, about 6 feet tall with a slender build, decided to go with when walked into the Wal-Mart at 1380 W. Elliot Road in Tempe and headed to the Desert Schools Federal Credit Union branch inside.
He paced in front of the branch until the teller was finished with another customer, then demanded money. The teller dropped the note to the floor and gave money to the suspect.
But he refused to leave until he got his note back. After demanding the note, the teller gave it back and the suspect left.
This guy might be a two-timer -- police believe he may also be responsible for the robbery of the Desert Schools Federal Credit Union in Tempe on June 10.
And, they believe that the same man, on June 11 at about 1:15 p.m., walked into the First Convenience Bank inside the Wal-Mart at 240 W. Baseline Road in Mesa -- wearing a red ASU baseball hat, black sunglasses, a tan long sleeve button up shirt, jeans and bright white tennis shoes -- and demanded money.
The 25-28-year-old man, about 5-foot-10 to 6 feet tall, handed the teller an envelop with his demand letter. The teller gave him the cash, and the suspect took off. He had a get-away driver since he was seen jumping into the passenger seat of a blue/green or grey/green sedan.
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This getup may have disguised the man's face, but it didn't hide the fact that he was up to no good. After all, wearing a yellow gardeners hat, a white bandana stretched over your face, black sunglasses and yellow and gray motorcycle gloves simply screams: "I'm about rob you!"
On June 11 at about 11:30 a.m., that's exactly what this 6-foot man in his late 40's did when he entered the Bank of America at 5114 S. Power Road in Gilbert. He went up to the teller with a black tool bag with yellow trim tool bag and set it on the counter. He demanded money from both drawers, instructing the teller not to give him any dye packs or trackers.
Yeah, he's probably done this before. And, indeed, police believe that he also robbed a Chase Bank at 9790 W. Peoria Avenue on October 8, 2012.
Contact the FBI at 623-466-1999 with any information on any of these suspects.