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Sunday, June 27, 2010

California's Geezer Bandit Strikes Temecula

By Douglas V. Gibbs

Southwest Riverside County is on the edge of a vernacular region called the "Inland Empire." Temecula and Murrieta are the most populous cities in that area, sometimes lumped in with north San Diego County, considered to be heavily influenced by Orange County which is due west, and is often reminded of their proximity to the Los Angeles basin. Most Californians consider the Temecula Valley as being out in "the boonies," and many don't even realize the bustling cities that Temecula and Murrieta truly have become. They are surprised when they hear that within the city limits of Temecula and Murrieta resides a quarter of a million people, and that doesn't even take into consideration the surrounding county areas, or the smaller communities of Wildomar, Winchester, Menifee, and the like. When explaining the location of the Temecula/Murrieta area, the best way is to say, "Slightly inland, about midway between Los Angeles and San Diego" - though San Diego is closer in the sense of the time it takes to get there.

At least one individual outside of the Temecula Valley has realized that the area has a lot of potential. The FBI calls him the "Geezer Bandit."

Last night on the Political Pistachio Radio Revolution one of my New York listeners brought to my attention that Temecula, California made the news in her neck of the woods. It seems that a bank robber that has been hitting San Diego County banks has made his way across the county line and nailed a Temecula Bank of America. The bank robber is an old man with features that are almost cartoonish in the stereotype of what we would call an old geezer, therefore, he has been dubbed the "Geezer Bandit."

Temecula was his 11th bank, according to the FBI, and his trademark routine remained intact as he struck the Bank of America. The Geezer Bandit walked into the branch, walked up to a teller, and passed the teller a demand note while pointing at a small-caliber revolver that he told the teller he would use if the person did not comply with his demands.

Surveillance camera images of the robbery suspect show an elderly gentleman wearing a white newsboy cap, sunglasses and a crisp, white button-down shirt. He is estimated to be between 60 and 70 years old and is believed to be responsible for 10 bank robberies in San Diego County, in addition to this latest one in Riverside County.

The Geezer Bandit has been at it for nearly a year, launching his bank robbery spree in August 2009, and hitting Temecula last Thursday, June 24th.

As law enforcement attempts to figure out who this man is, and remains stumped, theories and fan pages are abound. Facebook has two fan pages following the exploits of the Geezer Bandit. The theories include one that believes his wrinkles and age spots might be a sophisticated disguise.

There are at least three rewards totaling $16,000 being offered for information or tips leading to the Geezer Bandit's arrest and conviction.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Gun-wielding 'Geezer Bandit' robs Temecula bank - Sign On San Diego

'Geezer Bandit' strikes again! Elderly robber pulls off 11th California bank heist - New York Daily News

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