'Keep Smiling Bandit' on the Loose in Orange County

FBI searching for Calif. bank robber who tells victims to grin as they pass the cash
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 19, 2014 11:50 AM CST
'Keep Smiling Bandit' on the Loose in Orange County
The FBI is seeking the public's help in finding California's "Keep Smiling Bandit."   (FBI, via KTLA)

His words may seem cheerful, but his actions have been anything but. A California bank robber now called the "Keep Smiling Bandit" is being sought in two Orange County robberies in which he verbally instructed the likely terrified tellers to keep grins on their faces as they handed the cash over to him, the Los Angeles Times reports. In both instances—one at a Citibank in Tustin on Saturday, the other at a Citibank in Costa Mesa on Oct. 12—the thief passed a note to the teller that said, "Keep your hands away from the alarm or I'll shoot," KTLA reports.

No weapon was spotted in either case, an FBI spokeswoman tells the Times; the robber, who can be seen wearing a baseball cap and eyeglasses in both surveillance videos, was described as appearing "nervous," KTTV reports. He's said to be a white man in his early 30s, between 5 feet 7 inches and 5 feet 9 inches tall, weighing around 150 pounds with a "thin build." Anyone with info should call 911 or the FBI's LA office at 310-477-6565. (A 55-year-old man was accused last year of stealing 37 bank rugs.)

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