A repeat bank robber dubbed the "Bully Bandit" because of his sometimes rude behavior struck today in Riverside, marking at least his 12th heist in less than a year, police and the FBI said.
About 12:30 p.m. a robber entered a Bank of America branch at 3300 S. Harlem Ave. in Riverside, displayed a black handgun and demanded money from a teller, according to the Riverside Police Department. He took an undetermined amount of cash and fled on foot toward East Burlington Street.
The man was wearing a mask that covered half his face, and witnesses described him as Hispanic, about 5-foot-6 to 5-foot-8 and with a medium build, wearing a dark or grey hooded sweatshirt, police said.
The FBI said the robber, in his late 20s or early 30s, is the suspect called the "Bully Bandit" because he often yells at tellers and sometimes has pushed customers out of the way.
Today's robbery marks at least the 12th since November of last year, and he also is suspected of robbing a customer at another bank, said the FBI. The reward for the "Bully Bandit" was raised to $17,500.
The first bank robbery traced to the man was a North Community Bank at 1600 W. Chicago Ave. on Nov. 28. Since then, he has hit 11 more banks, including five Chase branches, two PNC branches and the Plaza Bank at 5601 W. Belmont Ave. twice.
Riverside Police Chief Thomas Weitzel said the bank was locked down after today's robbery and a police dog tried to track the suspect. Police also are checking any area businesses that might have had outdoor surveillance cameras.
Anyone with information about today's robbery is asked to call Riverside police at 708-447-2127, while anyone with information about the suspect in any of the heists is asked to call the FBI at 312-421-6700.