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'Snowboarder bandit' sketches released

Orange County Sheriff's Department officials have released composite sketches of the "snowboarder bandit" wanted for robbing at least 10 Southern California banks.

Local and federal investigators hope the sketches will lead to an arrest in the case. The sketches are based on surveillance video and witness accounts, including some from the last bank authorities say the suspect was seen in.

The suspect was inside the bank, but he did not rob it, Sheriff's Department officials said. Investigators said they believe he was casing the bank, planning for a future heist, according to KTLA-TV.

"The bank employee became suspicious because [the suspect] walked in and looked around the bank, they asked if they could help him, he made some idle conversation that didn't really make sense and then he inquired about a safety-deposit box," said Sheriff's Department spokesman Jim Amormino. "When they asked for his name before they could put it on the list, that's when he left without giving them any information."

The bank is in the same Irvine shopping center as a U.S. Bank branch the suspect robbed in March, officials said. The robber is now believed to be responsible for at least 10 holdups in Orange County since Dec. 20.

He earned his nickname because of the ski-type clothes he wore during earlier robberies.

However, in the most recent robbery, and in one at the Schools First Credit Union in Anaheim on March 5, he wore a black motorcycle helmet. Investigators think the suspect is about 25 years old.

He typically gives the teller a note implying he has a weapon, and then demands cash, officials said.

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-- KTLA-TV

 
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