FBI seeks help nabbing bank robber known as 'Count Down Bandit'

Reuters News
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Posted: Mar 23, 2016 4:27 PM

By Marcus E. Howard

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Authorities were hunting on Wednesday for a well-dressed man suspected of robbing at least seven New Jersey banks and dubbed the "Count Down Bandit" for his habit of counting down during the thefts.

In most of the robberies, the suspect approached a teller, "orally demanded money, counted down from 10 or 15 to one and made off with an undisclosed amount of cash," Timothy Gallagher, who heads the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Newark office, said in a statement.

The man is described as black or Hispanic in his mid-30s, between 5-feet-6-inches and 5-feet-8-inches tall, and with an athletic build. The FBI is offering a $5,000 reward for leading to the suspect's arrest and conviction.

No firearms were displayed during his robberies, which are believed to have begun in July last year, and there have been no reported injuries, the FBI said. The amount of cash stolen has not been disclosed.

During one robbery in August, surveillance cameras captured the suspect wearing an orange button-down shirt with light-colored pants as he robbed the Hudson City Bank in River Edge, New Jersey.

While carrying out another in December, he wore a gold-colored scarf, a black knit hat, khaki pants and a gray and white sweater at the Hudson City Bank in Oradell, New Jersey.

And in the most recent robbery, on March 8 in Wayne, New Jersey, the suspect sported a white button-down shirt, three-quarter sleeved hunter green jacket, blue jeans and a dark-colored baseball cap.

Most of the robberies have occurred at Hudson City Bank branches in northern New Jersey. Anyone with information on the robberies is asked to contact the FBI at 973-792-3000, and the suspect's photos can be found at Bandittrackernortheast.com.

(Reporting by Marcus E. Howard; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Marguerita Choy)