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Alleged bank robber leads police on chase, tosses cash on freeway

September 15, 2011 |  2:12 pm

Triple Threat Bandit police pursuit

A suspect in at least three Orange County bank robberies was leading authorities on a high-speed chase through Orange and Los Angeles counties on Thursday, at one point reportedly tossing money out his car window.

Police dubbed the man the "Triple Threat Bandit." He allegedly struck a Banco Popular on Euclid Avenue in Fullerton just after 1 p.m. and fled in a maroon Chevy Suburban, Fullerton Police Sgt. Andrew Goodrich said.

He hit the Orange County Credit Union in Fullerton, the Union Yes Federal Credit Union in Orange and the U.S. Bank in Buena Park within a two-hour span on the same day last month, according to the FBI.

The man, in his thirties with a muscular build, bright white teeth and freckles, passed a note to the teller demanding large bills, "100s and 50s," according to authorities. He was wearing a white polo shirt and blue jeans, and possibly carried a black backpack.

Authorities said no weapon was spotted on the man during the robberies but cautioned that he could still be violent.

FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said that committing three bank robberies within two hours is rare -- occurring once or twice a year at most -- and that it was "clearly an indication of desperation."

Eimiller said that as a policy the FBI does not release information about how much money is taken, but that the sums are low in most bank robberies. Anyone with information was asked to call the FBI at (888) 226-8443.

Officers spotted him driving southbound on Euclid near the 91 Freeway and tried to stop him.But he fled onto the 91 Freeway and has traversed the 105 and 110 freeways as well as surface streets.

Goodrich said there were also some reports that money was thrown out the window of the vehicle while it was traveling on the 91 Freeway.



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-- Andrew Blankstein and Richard Winton

Photos, from top: The so-called Triple Threat Bandit leads authorities on a pursuit Thursday afternoon, with live coverage on KTLA; suspect at the Orange County Credit Union in Fullerton. Credits: Richard Winton / Los Angeles Times; FBI