EAST TEXAS (KYTX) - Over the past four years, a man authorities have dubbed the Loan Ranger Bandit has committed at least a dozen armed robberies of banks and other financial institutions in four different states—and he is so brazen he doesn't bother covering his face.
"We have a lot of good surveillance photos where he is looking directly at the camera," said Special Agent Russell Di Lisi, who is coordinating the investigation from our Dallas Division. "Somebody out there has to know him or recognize him, and that's why we need the public's help."
A reward of up to $10,000 is being offered for information leading to the identification, arrest, and conviction of the Loan Ranger Bandit. Beginning in 2009, he has robbed banks in Arkansas, Mississippi, Kentucky, and Texas. His most recent robbery was last month in Temple, Texas at the Santa Fe Community Credit Union—the second time he has targeted that institution.
"He is a lot more reckless now," said Di Lisi, explaining that in the early robberies, the bandit would give tellers a demand note and show them a weapon in his waistband. "Beginning with the ninth robbery and every one since then," Di Lisi said, "he has actually brandished the weapon."
Officials in the Tyler Police Department in Texas came up with the name Loan Ranger Bandit because the robber is known to target financial institutions that make loans, and in one of his first robberies he wore a Texas Rangers baseball cap.
"He usually wears different hats," Di Lisi said, "but he makes no effort to cover his face." Di Lisi noted that despite his lack of a disguise, the Loan Ranger Bandit is clever. He picks stand-alone institutions that offer easy access to major roadways—and therefore quick getaways—and he often targets the same banks more than once. "He's very confident in what he's doing," Di Lisi said. "I believe he's going to keep hitting banks until we catch him."
The bandit is described as a white male in his early 30s, approximately 5 feet 7 inches to 6 feet tall, about 200 pounds, with a medium build. He has short, light brown hair, wears glasses, and has a small mole or mark just above his right eye on the lower part of his forehead. His varied clothing styles have included athletic wear, jeans, and business attire. He may also drive a maroon Chevrolet S-10 pickup truck with a white pinstripe around the truck bed. He should be considered armed and dangerous and should not be approached.
More information about the Loan Ranger Bandit, along with a number of detailed surveillance pictures, can be viewed on bankrobbers.fbi.gov, the Bureau's national website that features wanted bank robbers (see sidebar).
We need your help: If you have any information about the Loan Ranger Bandit, contact your local FBI office, submit a tip online, or call 1-800-CALL-FBI. Any information, even if it seems small, may be the connection we need to solve these crimes—and make you eligible for the $10,000 reward.
"It's been almost four years, and he's still out there," Di Lisi said. "With the public's help, we need to catch this guy before he strikes again."
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