A police cruiser. Photo by John Schreiber.
A police cruiser. Photo by John Schreiber.

A man suspected in several bank robberies in Los Angeles and Orange counties attributed to the “Faceless Bandit” after getting out of prison for similar heists made his initial appearance in federal court Monday afternoon.

Kyle Jason Korte, 36, is charged with bank robbery and armed bank robbery. He is being held without bail and is due back at the federal courthouse in Santa Ana on Nov. 28 for a pretrial hearing, then on Dec. 5 for post-indictment arraignment.

According to an FBI complaint, Korte is suspected in the bank robberies and attempted heists at:

— a Bank of America branch at 13020 Pacific Promenade Millenium in Playa Vista on Oct. 7; a teller was approached by a suspect wearing a stocking over his face, but he left before getting any money;

— a Bank of the West branch at 23865 Hawthorne Blvd. in Torrance, which was robbed Oct. 12 by a suspect wearing a black stocking cap over his face;

— a Union Bank branch at 229 Broadway in Laguna Beach, which was robbed by a suspect wearing a black stocking cap over his face and wielding a “large silver revolver with a black handle” on Oct. 27; and

— a Chase bank branch at 801 Pacific Coast Highway in Seal Beach, which was held up by a silver-gun-wielding suspect with a “black beanie covering his face” on Oct. 27.

A Los Angeles County sheriff’s sergeant who saw surveillance video of one of the heists recognized Korte from a prior bank robbery arrest in 2014, according to FBI Special Agent Chris Gicking.

Another important lead came from surveillance video that showed the robber using a Toyota Prius as a getaway vehicle, Gicking said. Authorities traced it back to a woman in Beverly Hills, who was a friend of the defendant and was providing him a place to stay, he said.

Korte was sentenced to about two years behind bars for bank robbery in Los Angeles County in 2014, Gicking said, and released from custody over the summer.

–City News Service 

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