Courtesy the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Courtesy the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

FBI officials asked for the public’s help Monday in tracking down the so-called Cal Bear Bandit, who is suspected of five heists in Orange County since August.

The most recent holdup was Oct. 17 at a Cathay Bank branch in Orange. Before that, a U.S. Bank branch in Huntington Beach was robbed.

The Cal Bear Bandit earned the nickname because he was seen wearing a California Republic baseball cap in multiple robberies, according to FBI Special Agent Chris Gicking.

About 9:15 a.m. Sept. 8, the Cal Bear Bandit was suspected of robbing a Bank of America branch in a Vons grocery store at 2701 Harbor Blvd. in Costa Mesa.

The suspect gave a teller a note, threatening that he had a gun and explosive device but did not show a weapon, according to Costa Mesa police Lt. Greg Scott.

The same suspect robbed a Chase branch at 31972 Camino Capistrano in San Juan Capistrano on Aug. 20 and a Farmers and Merchants branch at 1220 E. Katella Ave. in Orange on Sept. 3, according to FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller.

The Cal Bear Bandit is described as a white man who is about 5-feet-10 inches tall, with a medium build. He is believed to be in his 20s.

In recent robberies, the bandit has changed his apparel to a hard hat like a construction worker would wear, according to the FBI.

Anyone with information on the robberies was asked to call their local FBI office or 911.

City News Service

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