By MELINDA WILLIAMS
The FBI and Hanover County authorities are seeking the public’s help in identifying a man wanted in connection with at least 14 bank robberies in seven states, including two in Mechanicsville earlier this month.
The suspect, called the “Ray-Bandit” because he has worn Ray-Ban-style sunglasses during some of the robberies, is a white male, approximately 5-feet, 8-inches to 6-feet tall, 200-215 pounds, with red or strawberry blond hair. He is believed to be 20-30 years old and my have a gap in his front teeth.
According to police, the suspect sometimes wears disguises, which include changes in hair color, fake beards and false teeth, in addition to the sunglasses. He also frequently wears a hat, with one being a baseball-style cap bearing the Ford Shelby Cobra logo. He wears layers of clothing with long sleeves – possibly to hide tattoos on his arms – and something that appears to either be Band-aids or rubber thimbles on his fingertips.
With the exception of the Virginia robberies, the suspect ws driving a tan or gray 2001-2003 Hyundai Elantra GLS with a rear spoiler and broken passenger-side brake light. During the Virginia robberies, he was driving a red compact that may have been a Toyota Prius V.
Police say the man is a “serial” bank robber. The most recent robberies believe to have been committed by him occurred Dec. 5 in Mechanicsville. On that day a SunTrust Bank inside a Kroger store on Mechanicsville Turnpike and a BB&T on Chamberlayne Road were robbed, according to police.
Other 2012 robberies the subject may be responsible for include:
- July 30 – Community State Bank in Kenosha County, Wis.
- Aug. 8 – TCF in Munster, Ind.
- Aug. 8 – Fifth Third Bank in Hammond, Ind.
- Aug. 20 – Wells Fargo Bank in Moline, Ill.
- Aug. 23 – First National Bank and Trust in Janesville, Wis.
- Aug. 30 – US Bank in Edwardsville, Ill.
- Aug. 30 – US Bank in Collinsville, Ill.
- Sept. 14 – Valley Bank in Bettendorf, Iowa.
- Sept. 26 – American Bank and Trust in Milan, Ill.
- Oct. 10 – Bank of the West in Omaha, Neb.
- Nov. 1 – US Bank in Upland, Calif.
- Nov. 26 – Chase Bank in Glendora, Calif.
Police say he has used a small type-written piece of paper as a demand note in some of the robberies.
A reward of up to $5,000 is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspect. Anyone having information on the identity or location of the suspect is asked to call 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324).
To see the FBI’s wanted poster for this suspect, visit https://bankrobbers.fbi.gov/robbers-container/2012-12-19.1659171700.