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'AK-47' Bandit linked to Nebraska bank robbery

A bank robbery suspect in Nebraska may be the same suspect who held up a bank in Chino, shooting and seriously wounding a police officer.
A bank robbery suspect in Nebraska may be the same suspect who held up a bank in Chino, shooting and seriously wounding a police officer in 2012.

Officers from the Chino Police Department are in Nebraska City working closely with the FBI and local law enforcement as the hunt continues to track down the "AK-47 Bandit".

Investigators believe the suspect may have been employed as a police officer in the past. Law enforcement officials say the suspect is dangerous. He has already shot a cop and authorities fear an innocent victim could be next.

"We're gonna track this guy down wherever he goes," Chino Police Chief Miles Pruitt said. "He shot one of our officers, so wherever he goes, we're going to expend any resource to track him down and make sure we bring him to justice."

Authorities say the suspect was armed with the same assault rifle used in his five previous bank robberies when he hit The First Nebraska Bank in Nebraska City two weeks ago.

His face was covered with a black ski mask. He also wore gloves and a bulletproof vest under his shirt.

Police say he was in the bank less than three minutes and made off with an undisclosed amount of cash in his black duffle bag after ordering bank employees to empty the teller drawers and vault.

Investigators say the suspect's crime spree began Feb. 19, 2012 when he robbed the California Bank and Trust on 5400 block of Riverside Drive in Chino. Police say they suspect he phoned in a bomb threat to a nearby power facility just prior to the robbery.

Dressed in body armor and a black ski mask and armed with an assault rifle, he shot a Chino police officer who confronted him as he fled the scene, seriously wounding the officer.

A month later, he hit two banks in Northern California then continued north to Washington state. His last bank robbery was in Idaho in November 2012, until he turned up again in Nebraska earlier this month.



On Sunday, authorities warned the public and law enforcement to be on the lookout and on the alert for the AK-47 Bandit.

"We want to make everybody aware of how violent this individual is," Chino police Det. Carlos Dominguez. "He's not afraid to pull the trigger. He's already shot a police officer so anybody who gives him any resistance, he's not afraid to act."

As in most of the other robberies, the suspect was last seen leaving the area in a dark grey or black 2009 to 2012 Nissan Maxima. He's described as a white male, between 5 feet 10 inches and 6 feet tall, weighing about 180 to 200 pounds with distinctive blue eyes.

During his robbery in Idaho, authorities say he boasted he had shot a police officer before. A reward of up to $100,000 is being offered for information leading to the suspect's arrest.

Anyone with information was asked to contact investigators at the Chino Police Department at (800) 78-CRIME, or the FBI at (402) 493-8688 or the Nebraska City Police Department at (402) 873-9044.

Related Topics:
news bank robbery surveillance video FBI officer-involved shooting Chino Nebraska Idaho Washington
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