LAUDERDALE LAKES, Fla. (WSVN) — Chase banks across South Florida are being targeted by a serial bank robber who, federal authorities said, has robbed at least 10 banks in Palm Beach, Broward and Martin counties.
According to the FBI, the individual they are calling the “Ball Cap Bandit” has robbed nine Chase banks and one PNC bank branch, spanning from Pompano Beach all the way to Stuart. The FBI released photographs taken from surveillance video of the suspected bandit who, they said, typically wears a baseball cap during the robberies.
In the span of six months, FBI officials said he has targeted Chase banks located in Palm Beach Gardens, Boca Raton, North Lauderdale, Lauderdale Lakes, Miramar, Delray Beach, Pompano Beach and Stuart. The PNC bank he targeted is located in Lake Park.
Investigators said he began his spree back in December at a Chase branch on North Lake Boulevard, in Palm Beach County. Two months later, he targeted another Chase bank also located on North Lake Boulevard while wearing what appears to be a beige Florida Marlins cap and tie. The very next day, he targeted the PNC Bank. Surveillance cameras captured a clear shot of his face as he walked out.
Investigators said they consider the subject armed and dangerous. “He goes into banks, he presents a note making demands, and if the teller doesn’t comply, he escalates the robbery by brandishing a firearm,” said FBI Special Agent Justin Fleck.
The subject eventually began moving south. At a bank in Boca Raton, cameras captured the suspected robber putting stacks of cash in a manila envelope. A week later, on March 23, he went into another branch on State Road 7 in North Lauderdale.
“At a couple of the robberies, he’s pulled a firearm out, grabbed a customer that’s in the bank and held the gun to their midsection while he committed the robbery,” said Fleck.
Security footage shows the shoulder of that customer, just out of the camera’s range, wearing an orange shirt. “He’s willing to use a gun, and he’s going to pull it out and use it against innocent customers that are there to conduct their transactions,” said Fleck. “That’s why the priority to get this guy off the streets is high.”
The subject next hit a Lauderdale Lakes location on April 5. “When I come here, there always seems to be a lot of people here,” said customer Erin Thurston. “That’s pretty crazy. I mean … it’s just crazy to see how many times this has happened down here.”
Fleck said the suspected robber is becoming more violent. “He used a customer as hostage to get the bank teller to know that he means business,” he said.
It is unclear how much money he has gotten away with.
The FBI is now offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction of this person, or persons, responsible for these robberies. “Take a good look. You can see his face a little bit, despite the ball cap,” said Fleck. “Point us in the right direction and let us do our job.”
If you have any information on the identity of this bank robber, you are urged to call the FBI at (754) 703-2000. Or, call Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS.
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