FBI Los Angeles
Public Affairs Specialist Laura Eimiller
(310) 996-3343
November 3, 2014

Orange County BRAT Seeks Public’s Help in Identifying Male Serial Bank Robber Known as Cal Bear Bandit

Investigators in Orange County are seeking the public’s help in learning the identity of an unknown serial bank robber known as the “Cal Bear” Bandit, who has been linked to five bank robberies since August.

The suspect is currently being sought by the Orange County Bank Robbery Apprehension Team (BRAT). The BRAT is a partnership between the FBI and the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, whose members partner with various municipalities where suspects rob banks.

The Cal Bear Bandit was given the nickname after he was seen wearing a California Republic baseball hat in multiple robberies. The suspect, described as a white male, has been described as aged in his 20s; approximately 5’10” in height, with a medium build. The Cal Bear Bandit is believed to have changed his method since wearing the California Republic hat. In the most recent robberies, the suspect can be seen wearing a hard hat and apparel consistent with that of a construction worker.

During the robberies, the Cal Bear Bandit advises the teller he would like to make a withdrawal. When asked for account information, the suspect passes a note to the victim teller in which he demands cash and threatens a weapon. He has also threatened an explosive device; however, no evidence of actual explosives was found in the subsequent investigations.

A getaway vehicle was described by witnesses and can be seen in surveillance video as a small black vehicle. Video of the suspect inside the bank, as well as outside the bank where the suspect can be seen preparing for the robbery, is available by contacting the FBI Los Angeles Press Office.

The Cal Bear Bandit is linked to the following bank robberies:

  • August 20: Chase Bank, San Juan Capistrano
  • September 3: Farmers and Merchants, Orange
  • September 8: Bank of America, Costa Mesa
  • October 11: U.S. Bank, Huntington Beach
  • October 17: Cathay Bank, Orange

The Costa Mesa Police Department; Huntington Police Department; and the Orange Police Department are jointly investigating with the BRAT. Anyone with information about the identity or whereabouts of the Cal Bear Bandit is urged to contact their nearest FBI office or dial 911.

Additional information about bank robbers currently wanted by the FBI’s Los Angeles Division in its 7-county territory can be found at www.labankrobbers.org.