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FBI Links Goleta Bank Robbery to ‘Geezer Bandit’

Friday's holdup at Bank of America counted as latest in string of 13 heists since 2009

The suspect who robbed a Goleta bank late Friday afternoon is believed to be the “Geezer Bandit” who has held up a dozen Southern California banks since 2009, authorities said Saturday.

According to Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Drew Sugars, a man entered the Bank of America branch at 5892 Calle Real shortly before 6 p.m. and handed a teller a note demanding money. The man allegedly brandished a handgun.

After the teller handed over an undisclosed amount of cash, the suspect walked out of the bank. No one was injured in the incident.

Detectives have released a surveillance image of the suspect, who is described as 60 to 70 years old, about 6 feet tall with a thin build. He wore a navy blue jacket, a dark shirt, dark pants, a navy blue baseball cap and glasses.

The FBI said Saturday that the man is believed to be the elderly “Geezer Bandit” who, since 2009, has held up 10 banks in San Diego County, one in Riverside County and another in Bakersfield in November. Some witnesses have reported that the suspect was wearing a theatrical mask, leading authorities to consider that the man’s elderly features could be a disguise.

Anyone with information about the suspect is asked to call the Sheriff’s Anonymous Tip Line at 805.681.4171. The FBI and several banks are offering a reward of $20,000 for information leading to an arrest and conviction.

Noozhawk publisher Bill Macfadyen can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.

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