"Hills Bandit" strikes banks in La Jolla & Orange County - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

"Hills Bandit" strikes banks in La Jolla & Orange County

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Authorities sought the public's help Tuesday in identifying a man wanted in the attempted robbery of a La Jolla-area bank branch, a successfully bank hold up in Orange County the same day and several other Southern California robberies dating to May.

The attempted holdup in San Diego County was reported shortly after 1:30 p.m. Monday. The suspect passed a demand note to a teller at the Union Bank at 7807 Girard Ave. but fled empty-handed after the employee refused to hand over any cash, according to San Diego police and the FBI.

The suspect -- dubbed the "Hills Bandit" by the FBI -- headed north and held up a Wells Fargo branch in Laguna Niguel Monday afternoon, according to FBI spokeswoman Emily Yeh. That robbery was the eighth linked to the suspect in the past four months, she said.

In Monday's robbery and attempted robbery, the bandit used a demand note and claimed to be armed, though he did not show a weapon, Yeh said.

The Hills Bandit is also suspected of robbing a California Bank and Trust office in the 4300 block of La Jolla Village Drive on Aug. 25; a Wells Fargo in Laguna Niguel on Aug. 22; a U.S. Bank in Laguna Hills on Aug. 8; another U.S. Bank in Carlsbad on Aug. 5; Citibank locations in Lake Forest and Laguna Hills on July 25 and July 16, respectively; and a Wells Fargo in Laguna Hills on May 6.

The FBI described the suspect as white, 40-50 years old, wearing glasses and a baseball cap. During Monday's crimes, he wore a red Anaheim Angels baseball cap.

Anyone with more information about the robberies was asked to call the FBI at (858) 320-1800 or (310) 477-6565, or to contact Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.

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