The Mystery Encyclopedia

Geezer Bandit

The ‘Geezer Bandit,’ so named because he appears to be a man in his late 60s or 70s, is believed to have robbed 16 banks in California, most recently in December 2011.
Geezer Bandit

$20,000 Reward for capture of Old Man Bank Robber

Federal Bureau of Investigation special agents seek a man known as the Geezer Bandit for a series of bank robberies dating back to August 28, 2009.  After robbing 16 banks with a handgun and a hand written note, the bandit disappeared. While FBI agents compare video of later heists with the Geezer Bandit, so far, nothing definitive has surfaced.

Forceful Withdrawal

Carrying a leather satchel, armed with a revolver handgun, and a penchant for precision, the Geezer Bandit enters each bank and approaches a teller. Placing a note on the counter and showing his weapon, the bandit threatens violence if his demand is not carried out. 

Once his withdrawal is complete, this seemingly elder man, some witnesses guess in his 70’s, escapes into the daylight and out of sight. In fact, little eye witness commentary exist about his actions after leaving the banks. Only on his last robbery did someone catch a glimpse of his vehicle, a white BMW.

On his last robbery, the bandit made a few missteps, costing him his loot. First, he dropped his note. Then, he left the bank with a dye pack in his leather satchel. Dye exploded onto his person and the money. This is when the bandit gave away his most useful clue. He ran, some say, quite gracefully for someone supposed to be in his 70’s.

Disappearing Act

Not unlike recent Hollywood scripts, the bandit could have been an elderly man seeking to squirrel away as much cash as possible before the inevitable end. Or, perhaps, the bandit sought the adrenaline surge of pulling off as many daring capers as possible, sensing the end of the line. More likely, its possible that the dye pack rendered his disguise useless, putting an end to his crime spree. Nevertheless, not since his last holdup on December 2, 2011, has a sighting of the Geezer Bandit been made. 

Why is this a Mystery

As far back as the James Gang, the Wild Bunch, and depression era criminals such as Dillinger, Floyd, and the Barrow Gang, our fascination with, and at times love of these criminals catapult bank robbers from an anti-hero to genuine Americana. Geezer bandit’s ability to slither off unseen after each heist and his lack of a body count add him to the aforementioned ranks. His total heist haul is unrevealed, probably keeping him off many top 10 lists. However, completing 16 heists without firing his weapon is one point of mystery. A man capable of controlling the people around him, capable of force and control, yet without creating panic, and effecting a seamless get away.speaks to maturity, calm, and intelligence. Taking the odd appearance, such as his clothes, age, build, and his agility during his only failed attempt into account combined with his persona, the mystery of the bandit steadily grows with each heist. The mystery of the Geezer Bandit is not based solely on his elusiveness but also on his planning, execution, disguise, and popularity.

Suspected Bank Holdups

August 28, 2009—Friday—11:47 a.m.US Bank9643 Mission Gorge Road, Santee, CA.
September 12, 2009—Saturday—10:10 a.m.San Diego National Bank7877 Ivanhoe, La Jolla, CA.
October 9, 2009—Friday—Friday—2:07 p.m.US Bank4627 Carmel Mountain Road, San Diego, CA.
October 26, 2009—Monday—10:04 a.m.Bank of America17008 Avenida de Acacias, Rancho Santa Fe, CA.
November 16, 2009—Monday—5:54 p.m.Bank of America7680 Girard Avenue, La Jolla, CA.
January 27, 2010—Wednesday—5:50 p.m.San Diego National Bank1075 Rosecrans, San Diego, CA.
April 20, 2010—Tuesday—9:10 a.m.California Bank and Trust140 Escondido Avenue, Vista, CA.
April 30, 2010—Friday—2:14 p.m.US Bank1301 East Vista Way, Vista, CA.
May 11, 2010—Tuesday—9:45 a.m.Bank of America9711 Mission Gorge Road, Santee, CA.
June 7, 2010—Monday—2:55 p.m.US Bank14837 Pomerado Road, Poway, California
June 24, 2010—Thursday—1:15 p.m.Bank of America31934 Highway 79 South, Temecula, CA.
November 12, 2010—Friday—6:00 p.m.Bank of America4480 Coffee Road, Bakersfield, CA.
January 28, 2011—Friday—5:55 p.m.Bank of America5892 Calle Real, Goleta, CA.
May 27, 2011—Friday—2:17 p.m.Heritage Oaks Bank310 Morro Bay Boulevard, Morro Bay, CA.
September 30, 2011—Friday—6:34 p.m.Wells Fargo Bank7544 Girard Avenue, La Jolla, CA.
December 2, 2011—Friday—5:39 p.m.Bank of America1105 Higuera Street, San Luis Obispo, CA