The FBI and law enforcement agencies throughout California are seeking the public’s help in the effort to indentify and apprehend the so-called “Sleeves Bandit,” a man wanted for robbing at least 15 banks throughout the state, including three in the Santa Barbara area. During robberies, the man often wears a long undershirt, the sleeves of which make his arms look like they are covered in tattoos.
According to a statement issued by the FBI, the Sleeves Bandit often robs banks near closing time. He steps into the bank, reveals a handgun and orders customers to the floor before taking money from multiple tellers. Witnesses describe the man as being in his mid-50s, having short white or gray hair, being between 5-foot-10-inces and 6 feet tall, and weighing between 180 and 200 lbs. During robberies, he wears sunglasses and a mask – initially a ski mask but more recently something that the FBI release termed “a mesh, mosquito-type or beekeeper netting.”
The robberies occurred between November 26, 2008, and March 21, 2009. On the last date, he robbed a Wescom Credit Union franchise in Santa Barbara. On January 16, 2009, he robbed two Goleta banks: the Los Padres Bank at 97 N. Fairview Ave and the Santa Barbara Bank & Trust in the Camino Real Marketplace.
Released by the FBI alongside the statement was a collection of surveillance photos of the man. Authorities request that anyone with information about this man should call the FBI at 1 (888) CANT HIDE (or 1 (888) 226-8443). Reward money is being offered in exchange for valuable information.