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OC bank robberies proliferate; several suspects on the loose

January 11, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
Multiple Orange County bank robbery suspects remained on the loose Wednesday. Investigators are hoping for new leads to bring them to justice.

Surveillance video shows a man passing a note to a teller demanding money at an Orange County credit union in Yorba Linda on Friday. He's also suspected of robbing banks in Anaheim Hills, Irvine and last Monday a Chase Bank in Mission Viejo. The suspect has been nicknamed the "Gone Plaid Bandit."

"He got his name because the first two robberies he wore plaid shirts," said Orange County Sheriff's Spokesman Jim Amormino.

The suspect is believed to be in his mid to late 20s and is a very prolific bank robber in Orange County.

A man in his 50s with rotting teeth has been dubbed the "Dying Son Bandit," and has robbed banks in San Diego County, Lake Forest and Dana Point, each within an hour of each other January 5.

"He stated the only reason he's robbing the bank is to pay medical bills for his son, who is dying of cancer," said Amormino.

Ten bank robberies in 10 days in Orange County.

Tuesday morning in Orange, three men wearing ski masks, two armed with handguns, robbed a US Bank branch.

Tuesday afternoon in Fullerton, a masked man held up an Opus Bank branch and took off in a silver 1990s Honda.

The FBI suspects the "Snowboarder Bandit" robbed a Bank of America branch Monday afternoon in Anaheim Hills. He may also be responsible for a robbery in Laguna Hills last month.

Authorities also continue to search for one of two men dubbed the "Market Duo" bandits. They've hit several bank branches within supermarkets, including one inside a Stater Brothers store in Placentia. They were captured on surveillance video tossing an exploding dye pack in a money bag. They're suspected of hitting the same Wells Fargo branch again last week, but it ended with a high-speed chase into Paramount.

One of the suspects, Paul Acosta, was shot and wounded by an L.A. County Sheriff's deputy.

What's behind the rash of robberies?

"When most of these bank robbers are apprehended, most of them are drug users, gamblers and career criminals," said Amormino.

If you have information regarding any of these robberies, contact Orange County Crime Stoppers at (855) TIP-OCCS.

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