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'Faux Badge Bandit' Hits Bay Area Banks; Sought In Series Of California Robberies

DANVILLE (CBS SF) -- A man who was seen wearing a law enforcement badge and carrying a gun is being sought in a series of bank robberies in the Bay Area and Southern California, including two on Thursday in the East Bay.

The suspect has been dubbed the "Faux Badge Bandit" for wearing a seven-point badge on his hip. He has also been seen brandishing a handgun or seen with a gun inside a shoulder holster. The suspect is described as Caucasian between 40 and 50 years old, six feet tall and weighing about 230 pounds.

Faux badge bandit
Surveillance image of a man who police say attempted to rob a US Bank branch inside a Safeway store on the 2500 block of San Ramon Valley Blvd., July 12, 2018. (San Ramon Police Dept.)

The man apparently struck twice in the Bay Area Thursday. Danville police said the suspect brandished a gun and made off with an undisclosed amount of cash at First Republic Bank on Hartz Ave. in Danville at about 11:53 a.m. Thursday.

A surveillance image from the bank showed the suspect wore an orange or bright-colored golf shirt and a baseball cap with an American flag on it.

Two hours later, San Ramon police said a man matching a similar description entered a US Bank branch inside the Safeway store on San Ramon Valley Blvd. in San Ramon. The man wore a Hawaiian-style shirt and straw hat, brandished a black, semi-automatic handgun at the counter, and handed the teller a demand note. The teller refused to give him money and the man fled, police said.

bank robbery Faux Badge Bandit
Surveillance image of bank robbery suspect at First Republic Bank on Hartz Ave. in Danville, July 12, 2018. (Danville Police Dept.)

He is seen in other surveillance images wearing a wide-brimmed hat and investigators believe he may be armed with multiple weapons.

Police in Cupertino said the Faux Badge Bandit also hit banks in that city; at US Bank on June 20, First Republic Bank on June 5, and HSBC Bank on June 10. Each of the banks are on S. De Anza Blvd.

In Los Angeles County, police departments in Pasadena, La Verne, Santa Clarita and Claremont are also on the lookout after four bank robberies in May and June.

In Sacramento County, the FBI also says the Faux Badge Bandit is a suspect in another robbery at  Golden 1 Credit Union in Elk Grove on June 27.

People with any information about the suspect were urged to contact the FBI or call 911. He should not be approach as he is considered armed and dangerous.

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