Posted: Aug 15, 2013 5:30 PM by Cameron Polom, KSBY News
Updated: Aug 16, 2013 3:41 PM
Investigators are busy chasing leads a day after the latest robbery by the Central Coast Bandit.
The female robber is still on the loose, but police say there are some patterns that could lead to a break in the case.
According to the FBI, women are involved only about 4-6% of the time and it's even more rare for them to be serial bank robbers.
"Really, when we talk about patterns, we talk about pre-incident patterns, putting cops on dots," said Pismo Beach Police Commander Jake Miller.
So far, the patterns left behind by the Central Coast Bandit are limited. Since December 31st of 2012, a woman described as 5'2" to 5'6", in her mid-40s to mid-50s, and about 160 pounds has hit bank after bank along the Central Coast.
Investigators say her confidence could be growing after robbing four banks in just the last two months.
The robbery spree began in December in Pacific Grove, near Monterey. Her next stops included Atascadero, Nipomo, Paso Robles, Modesto, and just this Wednesday in Pismo Beach.
"Once we start investigating the crime, forensics is a big part," said Commander Miller.
Investigators have attempted to obtain fingerprints at each scene; however, if hers are not located in any of the national crime databases, those prints do little good until she is caught. That's when they can be used to connect her to the robberies.
Some of her patterns include hitting small banks attached to other businesses and located in smaller communities. She also tends to hit them in the middle of the month and the FBI says the robberies seem to mostly occur along the Highway 101 corridor.
Investigators say their best clues are the high quality bank surveillance photos. They hope someone will recognize her and call them before she strikes again.
According to the FBI, someone is considered a serial bank robber after being involved in two robberies.
San Luis Obispo County has had a high number of bank robberies this year compared to years past. In 2009, there were 8 bank robberies. There were none in 2010, two in 2011, and three in 2012. So far this year, there have been 10 bank robberies in San Luis Obispo County.
At this point, investigators say the Central Coast Bandit has been linked to three different vehicles, although none have produced a confirmed license plate number.
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