"AK-47 Bandit" Wanted in SoCal Bank Robberies Suspected in Nebraska Heist

The serial bank robber has been linked to heists in Chino, Vacaville, Sacramento, Washington state and Idaho, according to federal authorities.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Dubbed the AK47 Bandit, a man who went on a nationwide bank robbing spree and opened fire with a high-capacity magazine at a Chino police officer in 2012, seriously wounding him, has struck again in Nebraska. Gordon Tokumatsu reports for NBC4 News at 5 p.m. from Chino Monday, Sept. 1, 2014. (Published Monday, Sep 1, 2014)

    Authorities say a man who used an assault rifle to rob a bank in Nebraska earlier this month matches the description of a prolific bank robber responsible for a slew of heists across the western United States.

    The FBI says the Aug. 22 robbery of the First National Bank branch in southeast Nebraska may be the work of the so-called "AK-47 Bandit," who is suspected of shooting a Chino police officer during a heist in February 2012.

    "He shot one of our officers. We're going to get him," said Chino Police Det. Carlos Dominguez.

    The bandit went on to hit up banks in Northern California, Idaho and Washington. He was dubbed the "AK-47 Bandit" because of his penchant for carrying the assault rifle into his targeted banks.

    "AK-47 Bandit" May Have Struck in Nebraska: FBI

    [LA] "AK-47 Bandit" May Have Struck in Nebraska: FBI
    The FBI says the so-called "AK-47 Bandit" wanted in a series of bank robberies in the western U.S. may be responsible for a heist in Nebraska. Gadi Schwartz reports for the NBC4 News at 11 on Sunday, Aug. 31, 2014. (Published Monday, Sep 1, 2014)

    The FBI has offered a $100,000 reward for tips leading to his arrest. Chino police have scheduled a news conference for Monday afternoon to discuss the case.

    Investigators said he has told victims that he used to be an officer, and surveillance video shows him usually wearing tactical gear, a full-face ski mask and blue ballistic vest or green mesh vest marked "Sheriff."

    The aggressive robber has been known to point the rifle at crying children.

    Police came close to catching him in Chino, but he got away after shooting the officer, who was seriously hurt.

    Chino police detectives have flown out to Nebraska to help in the investigation.

    "We want to make everyone aware of how violent this man is," Dominguez said. "He is not afraid to pull the trigger, he has already shot a police officer. So anyone that gives him any resistance, he's not afraid to act."

    After robbing the California Bank & Trust in Chino in 2012, the man is believed to have robbed a Vacaville Bank of the West on March 12, 2012. He may have also tried to rob a bank in Sacramento a few days earlier.

    The “AK-47 Bandit” is described as a white male, 25 to 40 years old, about 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighing between 180 and 200 pounds.

    Caught on Video: Chino Bank Gunman

    [LA] Caught on Video: Chino Bank Gunman
    Surveillance video show a man armed with a high-powered rifle walk into a Chino bank before he opened fire on an officer outside the building. (Published Thursday, Mar 1, 2012)

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