Los Angeles News
'Plain Jane Bandit' suspect arrested near Downey residence
LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A woman suspected of being the "Plain Jane Bandit," who is accused of committing eight bank heists in the Southern California area, has been arrested.
Authorities have identified the alleged serial bank robber as 38-year-old Sylvia Helen Garcia. The FBI received numerous tips and took Garcia into custody at her Downey home late Thursday.
"She was a little more brazen than the average bank robber. She was aggressive," said Laura Eimiller with the FBI.
The 38-year-old lived in a Downey apartment, neighbors say, with her husband and three kids.
"I'm really shocked and surprised that we would have somebody like that living in this building, and it's a small complex," said a neighbor, who did not give their name.
When a man in the unit confirmed to ABC7 that Garcia lived there, he then escaped out a back window with two kids.
The "Plain Jane Bandit" struck eight banks in Riverside, Los Angeles and Orange counties, within three weeks, including banks in Cerritos, Downey, Santa Fe Springs, Whittier, Buena Park, Wildomar and two locations in Moreno Valley. During the latest heist in Cerritos on Tuesday, the suspect left before getting any money.
The FBI said the suspect used the same method every time. She would walk into a bank, and show the teller a note asking for cash. She also indicated that a second person was waiting for her outside the bank, but no accomplice was ever seen.
"The suspect would demand cash, in some cases she would ask for specific amounts: $500, $800. She also passed a note, which was described by most of the victim tellers as illegible," said Eimiller.
She was dubbed the "Plain Jane Bandit" because witnesses described her appearance as plain-looking.
"I know you gotta do what you gotta do, but there's ways, you gotta work, there's no reason for that. That's the way I see it. There's so many funds, there's so many ways you can support your family," said neighbor Wilene Schlehner.
Authorities haven't ruled out the possibility Garcia was working with someone, but also they don't have any other suspects at this point.
bank robbery, los angeles news, rudabeh shahbazi
- Gunman at large in East LA party shooting 37 min ago
- Drug boat washes ashore in Manhattan Beach
- 2 LB suspects accused of human trafficking
- Anaheim begins closing marijuana dispensaries
- Ex-PTA president allegedly stole candy funds 12 min ago
- OC teen to be tried as adult in dad beating
- Ex-Compton deputy fire chief out on bail 44 min ago
- Palmdale boy dies after allegedly being tortured
- Are bridges in Southern California safe?
- Committee approves dental care to Medi-Cal
- Truck in bridge collapse had permit to cross
- abcnews: WWII medals back after mistaken donation
- 'The Rock' returns for 'Fast & Furious 6'
- OTRC: Vin Diesel denies steroids use (Video)
- Latest weather with Bri Winkler
39 min ago