Serial bank robber hits banks in Los Altos, Sunnyvale

Police hope image from security camera helps identify bank robber

A man who robbed two U.S. Bank branches within 20 minutes of each other on Monday (Oct. 24) is a serial bank robber who has struck three or four other U.S. Bank branches in the area, Los Altos police said.

The man entered the U.S. Bank at 1001 Fremont Ave. in Los Altos at 1 p.m. and handed the teller a demand note. No weapon was seen but he stated he was "armed," Los Altos police Sgt. Cameron Shearer said. The man had struck a Sunnyvale branch just 20 minutes before.

Witnesses' descriptions have varied, with the man being described as East Indian or Middle Eastern, Shearer said. He is in his 30s, 5 feet 8 inches in height and weighs about 180 pounds. He wears glasses and has a full black beard but it is unclear if the beard is real, Shearer said.

He wore a light blue or white long-sleeved shirt and light-colored pants, and in Monday's robberies has a black computer-type messenger bag.

In the Los Altos robbery, the teller gave the man an undisclosed amount of cash. He left the area on foot toward Miramonte Avenue, Shearer said.

Shearer said it isn't unusual for bank robbers to hit all of the same type of bank.

"A lot of it is what they get comfortable with," Shearer said.

If the robber knows the layout of the bank and patterns or if he or she has had luck robbing the bank the first time the robber will stick with that bank, Shearer said.

"Sometimes it's superstition," he said.

Anyone with information about the robber or robberies is asked to call the Los Altos Police Department at 650-947-2770.

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Like this comment
Posted by Clarence Boddicker
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 25, 2011 at 12:37 pm

Poor dumb fool should go get an MBA, work on wall street and steal millions with the stroke of a pen. He'd be due for a hella'va bonus about now.

Like this comment
Posted by more photos?
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 26, 2011 at 9:18 am

If he has robbed multiple banks, there surely are more photos. Can those be posted? Different angles and full body shots will make ID much easier.

Like this comment
Posted by kongjie
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 26, 2011 at 10:59 am

kongjie is a registered user.

Come on, how do you get from Sunnyvale to Los Altos in 20 minutes during lunch hour? It's two guys.

Like this comment
Posted by Ridd Ich
a resident of Meadow Park
on Oct 26, 2011 at 4:19 pm

"Come on, how do you get from Sunnyvale to Los Altos in 20 minutes during lunch hour? It's two guys."

(In a soft voice)- That is exactly what the robber wants you to believe.
It's two guys instead of one.

Like this comment
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Oct 26, 2011 at 4:26 pm

Google Maps shows 3.0 miles or 9 minutes between 1655 Hollenbeck Avenue and 1001 Fremont Avenue, via Homestead and Foothill. Maybe he was trying for Guinness book of world records.

Like this comment
Posted by asian robber
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 26, 2011 at 4:34 pm

Whenever a criminal is identified as black or latino, dozens of right-wing commenters in these forums decry how integration is ruining our neighborhoods. If the criminal is white or asian, the only comments are about how efficient he is?

Like this comment
Posted by trust
a resident of Southgate
on Oct 26, 2011 at 5:45 pm

america is learning that race hatred will get you nowhere with life. anti black and latino profiling is evil

Like this comment
Posted by Kathy
a resident of Stanford
on Oct 26, 2011 at 7:30 pm

Maybe the "guy" was a "gal" in disguise?? Could be.................

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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