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US Bank is offering a $10,000 reward for a bank robber who has struck eight times in three weeks. Witnesses of the "Plain Jane" robberies have described her as seeming normal and not attracting attention to herself. Patrick Healy reports from Cerritos for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on August 1, 2012.
A prolific bank robber nicknamed the “Plain Jane Bandit” struck for the eighth time in a little more than three weeks on Tuesday at a Chase bank in Cerritos, but it was the USBank Corporation that offered a $10,000 reward for her capture.
Five of the eight banks she is accused of robbing have been USBank locations.
Since July 12, authorities say the woman has robbed or attempted to rob banks in Santa Fe Springs, Whittier, the Moreno Valley, Buena Park and Wildomar.
She’s struck twice this week, police say. On Monday, she attempted to rob a Bank of America in Downey and on Tuesday a Chase bank in Cerritos.
“Usually when someone robs at that rate, they have an addiction,” said Stephen May, the FBI’s bank robbery coordinator. “The amount of money she is getting is not at all. And that may be another reason she is robbing at the rate she is going at.”
Bank surveillance photos released by the FBI show the woman in a variety of outfits. May said some tellers and witnesses describe her as “plain” – which is how she gained the nickname.
The official FBI description listed her as a woman in her late thirties, no taller than five foot five, possibly with scars near her right eye and a tattoo on her right shoulder.
Plain Jane’s usual modus operandi is to present an illegible demand note to the teller and claim to have an accomplice out of view.
“Something to the effect of, ‘Hey, there’s a guy outside, or there’s a guy inside the bank with a gun,” May said. “He told me to get the money. So give me the money now.”
Neither the police nor the FBI have been able to confirm that Plain Jane has an accomplice.
Still, the FBI is warning people that she should be considered armed and dangerous.
Anyone who recognizes her from the surveillance pictures is asked to contact the FBI or their local police.