Home Phoenix Press Releases 2012 FBI Seeks Serial Bank Robber Known as Thou Shalt Not Steal Bandit

FBI Seeks Serial Bank Robber Known as Thou Shalt Not Steal Bandit

FBI Phoenix November 20, 2012
  • Special Agent Perryn Collier (623) 466-1842

PHOENIX, AZ—Phoenix FBI Special Agent in Charge James L. Turgal, Jr. announced the FBI’s Bank Robbery Task Force is seeking the public’s assistance in identifying the “Thou Shalt Not Steal Bandit.”

In the first two robberies, the subject forced entry into the businesses adjacent to the banks prior to opening and then cut holes in the adjoining dry wall to enter the banks. During the third robbery, the subject entered the bank through a hole he cut in the exterior wall, and in the fourth robbery, he accessed the bank through a hole he cut in the roof. The subject waits in the bank until bank employees arrive for work, then confronts them with a black, semi-automatic handgun or a silver revolver and forces them to access the money. The subject then takes the money and flees the bank after restraining bank employees with blindfolds and flex ties.

At the Alerus Bank and Trust, the subject entered the bank on a Friday evening and attempted to gain access to the vault himself. After having no success, the subject fled without obtaining any money. During the last incident on July 3, 2012, the subject accessed the bank through a hole in the roof and left a phone taped to a device resembling sticks of dynamite inside the bank. The subject threatened to blow up the bank if the bank employees did not place the bank’s money in a desert wash area just north of the bank.

Investigators believe the subject is conducting prior surveillance and detailed planning before each of the robberies. Further, the subject may have previous military experience and familiarity with bank security systems. The subject likely is living above his means and may have purchased expensive items shortly after each robbery. Investigators are releasing a store surveillance photograph from June 28, 2012, that shows the person who purchased the telephone used in the July 3, 2012 incident in Peoria, Arizona.


24 March 2009


7:42 a.m.

Chase Bank

8978 W. Union Hills Dr.


11 December 2009


7:50 a.m.

Chase Bank

4819 N. 83rd Ave.


27 April 2010


8:30 a.m.

National Bank of AZ

7202 E. Carefree Dr.


27 October 2010


8:20 a.m.

Johnson Bank

32621 N. Scottsdale Rd


6 September 2011


7:00 a.m.

First Fidelity Bank

6232 N. 32nd St


25 May 2012


11:00 p.m.

Alerus Bank and Trust

17045 N. Scottsdale Rd


3 July 2012


8:00 a.m.

Chase Bank

28523 N. El Mirage Rd


The subject is described as a white or Hispanic male, 28-40 years old, 5’6”-5’10” tall, 150-180 lbs. The subject has most recently worn a camouflage ski mask with goggles or sunglasses, black zippered jacket, long-sleeved shirt, dark pants, motorcycle gloves, and tennis shoes. The subject has displayed a great deal of calm, at times attempting to reassure frightened victims.

The FBI Bank Robbery Task Force is composed of the Phoenix Police Department, Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, and the Mesa Police Department.

If anyone has information regarding the identity of the Thou Shall Not Steal Bandit or the person who purchased the cell phone, please contact the FBI at (623) 466-1999 or online at www.BanditTrackerArizona.com.

Photos from the robberies:

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