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'Snowboarder bandit' possibly strikes again in Orange County

February 22, 2012 |  8:38 am

Photo: A suspect that may fit the description of the so-called "snowboarder bandit" is seen with placing cash into a plastic bag at a Chase bank in Laguna Niguel Tuesday. Credit: Orange County Sheriff's DepartmentThe "snowboarder bandit" may have struck again, after a man fitting the serial bank robber’s description robbed a Chase bank in Orange County.

Wearing a black-and-gray snow hat and a gray V-neck sweater, the young man walked into the Laguna Niguel bank in the 30200 block of Crown Valley Parkway about 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, handed a teller a note and walked away with cash, said Orange County Sheriff’s Lt. Gary Strachan.

Surveillance footage showed the man, wearing sunglasses, putting a stack of bills into a plastic bag.

The suspected robber is said to be about 25 years old, 6-foot-6 and 165 pounds. He was unshaven with reddish blond hair, Strachan said.

[Updated, 9:20 a.m.: Tuesday's robbery is the eighth one since Dec. 20 by a man matching the snowboarder bandit's description. In addition to Laguna Niguel, he is believed to have targeted banks in Laguna Hills, Anaheim, Irvine, the unincorporated community of Ladera Ranch, and the Corona del Mar neighborhood in Newport Beach, Orange County sheriff's spokesman Jim Amormino said.

Other banks that have been targeted include Bank of America, U.S. Bank, Union Bank and Wells Fargo.

Amormino said the snowboarder bandit was recently identified by the FBI as one of the 10 most wanted bank robbers in Southern California. Among them, the snowboarder bandit is "definitely the most prolific one currently operating in Orange County," Amormino said.]

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--- Rong-Gong Lin II

Photo: A suspect fitting the description of the "snowboarder bandit" places cash Tuesday into a plastic bag at a Chase bank in Laguna Niguel. Credit: Orange County Sheriff's Department

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