"Snowboarder Bandit" Arrested: FBI

One of FBI's most wanted bandits is believed to have robbed at least 10 banks in Southern California

By Jason Kandel
|  Saturday, May 5, 2012  |  Updated 12:56 PM PDT
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FBI on the Hunt for Snowboarder Bandit

FBI

The FBI identified Michael B. Franks as the "Snowboarder Bandit," one of the agency's most wanted suspects, allegedly responsible for robbing at least 10 banks across Southern California.

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FBI on the Hunt for Snowboarder Bandit

Vikki Vargas reports on the man the FBI dubs the "Snowboarder Bandit," who authorities say is the most prolific bank robber in Orange County.
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A 29-year-old Riverside man believed to be the "Snowboarder Bandit" has been arrested in connection with robbing at least 10 banks across Southern California since December.

The FBI identified the suspect as Michael B. Franks, 29, of Riverside.

Information about his arrest were not available Saturday, but FBI officials are expected to announce more details next week.

A task force of local and federal authorities in a Bank Robbery Apprehension Team worked with the Irvine Police Department to arrest the suspect. Franks was arrested at his home in Riverside.

He was linked to three bank robberies, in Palm Desert and Oxnard, as well as an attempted robbery in Bermuda Dunes, said FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller.

Michael B. Franks, 29, of Riverside, will remain in custody throughout the weekend and is expected to be charged next week.

FBI officials credited media coverage, which included bank surveillance photos, for helping develop leads in the investigation.

The “Snowboarder Bandit” is on the FBI's most-wanted list of Southern California bank robbers.

He was suspected of holding up at least 10 banks between Dec. 20, 2011 and March 21 in Orange County.

In one case the suspect walked into a bank, “made some small talk” and asked about a safety deposit box, police said. When asked for his name, he left.

The suspect earned his nickname because of his youthful appearance and the knit hat and ski clothes worn to disguise himself.

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