Inland Empire News

'Desperate Bandit' suspect arrested after Indio bank robbery

Saturday, November 24, 2012
Surveillance photos show a man suspected of being the serial bank robber who has been dubbed The Desperate Bandit at a U.S. Bank in Placentia on Friday, Sept. 28, 2012.

Surveillance photos show a man suspected of being the serial bank robber who has been dubbed 'The Desperate Bandit' at a U.S. Bank in Placentia on Friday, Sept. 28, 2012. (KABC Photo)

A Chino Hills man has been arrested in connection with a series of bank robberies tied to the "Desperate Bandit."

The bandit was linked to at least seven bank robberies in the past three months spanning the Inland Empire and Orange County. Police took a man into custody on Friday, and investigators believe him to be the "Desperate Bandit."

Police responded to a robbery at the First Bank on the 81900 block of Avenue 42 in Indio at about 11:37 a.m.

Investigators say the suspect handed a teller a note stating he had a gun and wanted money. The teller complied, and the suspect took off with an undisclosed amount of money.

Officers tracked down the suspect on the 10 Freeway near the Monroe Street Bridge. At the time of the arrest, evidence linked to the First Bank robbery was found in the suspect's car.

Investigators identified the suspect as 47-year-old Michael Patrick Downing of Chino Hills.

Robberies linked to the "Desperate Bandit" include banks in Chino, Fullerton, Anaheim, Tustin, Corona, Placentia and La Habra from August through October.

Authorities began using the nickname "Desperate Bandit" after the suspect committed multiple robberies wearing different disguises such as wigs, mustaches and eyeglasses.

(Copyright ©2014 KABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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robbery, bank robbery, san bernardino county, inland empire news
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