Santa Barbara
60° F
Santa Maria
48° F
San Luis Obispo
55° F
54° F

Central Coast Bandit strikes again

By Claire Scholl, NewsChannel 3 Assignment Editor,
Published On: Aug 14 2013 05:45:21 PM CDT
Updated On: Aug 16 2013 11:59:34 AM CDT

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is investigating a bank robbery in Pismo Beach.


The Federal Bureau of Investigation is investigating a bank robbery in Pismo Beach.

It happened Wednesday around 2:30 p.m. at the Pacific Western Bank, on the 800 block of Oak Park Boulevard.

Authorities said the suspect is a woman but have not said if she got away with money.

FBI officials said this woman is believed to be the Central Coast Bandit.

The Central Coast Bandit, who has yet to be caught, is believed to have robbed six banks.

The most recent robbery was on July 18 in Modesto.

Full press release from the FBI:

The FBI continues to seek the public’s assistance in learning the identity of a serial bank robber known as the “Central Coast Bandit,” believed to be responsible for multiple bank robberies along California’s Central Coast, including one today in Pismo Beach at approximately 3:00pm. During today’s robbery, the suspect advised a victim bank employee that she needed to cash a check, then proceeded to pass a note demanding cash. 

Today’s robbery marks the 6th bank robbery linked to the suspect since December 2012 along the Central Coast and cities north, including today’s.  The suspect has also been linked to an incident in which a female was described by witnesses as having “cased” a bank.  The FBI and law enforcement in San Luis Obispo, Monterey and Stanislaus Counties are conducting a joint investigation. 

During the robberies, the suspect enters the bank and presents a demand note to the victim teller.  She has been seen bank surveillance photos wearing eyeglasses, a variety of hats and casual clothing. In some of the robberies, the suspect has indicated she may be working with other individuals located outside of the bank. No other suspects have been described by witnesses at this time.  

The Central Coast Bandit is further described as an Hispanic or white female, with dark hair, between 5’5”-5’6”, 150-160 lbs., and between 35-45 years old. The suspect has been seen carrying a pistol during some of the robberies, and, according to witness accounts, has been seen leaving bank robberies in what has been described as either a grey sedan or gold-colored SUV.

The Central Coast Bandit has been linked to the following bank robberies/casing:


12/31/12            Monterey CU                 161 Fountain St             Pacific Grove    Monterey County

2/14/13             Pacific Western             7035 El Camino Real     Atascadero        SLO County

2/14/13             Chase                           8055 El Camino Real     Atascadero        SLO County (Casing Only)

6/27/13             Coast Hills FCU            532 W. Tefft St             Nipomo             SLO County

7/16/13             Golden One FCU           128 Niblick St                Paso Robles     SLO County

7/18/13             Farmers Merchants        1700 McHenry Ave.       Modesto            Stanislaus County

8/14/13             Pacific Western Bank     831 Oak Park Blvd.        Pismo Beach     San Luis Obispo

 Anyone with information about the identity or whereabouts of the suspect is urged to contact their nearest FBI office or dial 911.

Bank surveillance photographs of the “Central Coast” Bandit are being provided to the media. Additional information about bank robbers currently wanted by the FBI’s Los Angeles Division can be found at  

This investigation is being conducted by detectives and officers with the Atascadero Police Department; the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department; the Paso Robles Police Department; the Pacific Grove Police Department; the Modesto Police Department; the Pismo Beach Police Department, and agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.


The views expressed are not those of this company or its affiliated companies. Please note by clicking on "Post" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms Of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. 
blog comments powered by Disqus
  • Triple Fatal Auto Accident on Highway

    3 Dead In Early Morning Accident, Driver Arrested For DUI

    The 101 southbound through Santa Barbara reopened just before 12:30 Monday afternoon as authorities investigate what they say was a deadly two car DUI accident.

  • Witnesses to Fatal Crash

    Eyewitnesses See Triple Fatal Crash from Roadside Camp

    A homeless couple watching the freeway from their campsite in Santa Barbara this morning, witnessed the triple fatal accident that took the lives of two teens and a young man.

  • Triple Fatal Auto Accident on Highway

    DUI Driver in Fatal Early Morning Accident Ordered to Detox Program in 1995

    The Santa Barbara woman arrested for DUI in the early morning accident that left three people dead early Monday morning has a lengthy court record out of Ventura County. Kimberly Kreis, 52, was ordered to serve 30 days in a detox program as far back as 1995.

    The car that Kreis was driving crashed into a disabled Mazda near the Castillo off-ramp of the southbound 101 freeway in Santa Barbara. Two 17 year old North Torrance High School students were killed in the accident- Jessica Leffew and Danielle Murillo. 20 year old Brian Lopez also died in the wreck. The driver of the Mazda, Eric August, is hospitalized in critical condition.

    A NewsChannel 3 investigation found records out of Ventrua County that appear to show that Greis has at least one prior conviction involving drugs and or alcohol, and in 1995 she was ordered to serve 30 days in a Cottage Hospital detox program.

    CHP investigators are still trying to piece together why the Mazda veered right into a guardrail, causing it to flip onto it's roof before coming to rest in the middle of the southbound freeway, which set into motion the deadly accident.

    CHP Officer Jonathan Guiterrez, said "A lot of things could have happened, He could have fallen asleep. We just don't know at this point."

  • Santa Barbara Fatal Accident Folo

    Extensive Investigation into Triple Fatal Accident

    An extensive investigation is underway to determine the cause of death in a triple fatal rollover accident Monday morning in Santa Barbara.

  • Parents of Mallory Dies Sue Congresswoman, Her Former Aide, and U.S. Government

    The parents of a young Santa Barbara woman killed in a high profile, DUI case are suing Congresswoman Lois Capps, her former aide Raymond Morua, and the U-S government in federal court.

  • Larry Lee Cal Poly Coach

    Cal Poly Baseball Earns No. 1 National Ranking

    The Mustangs achieved the school's second No. 1 national ranking in Division I as Collegiate Baseball Newspaper has placed Cal Poly atop its Top 30.

  • fuzion_store_business_santa_barbara

    UCSB Group Boycotts Business For Promoting Deltopia

    A UCSB student group is boycotting a local business for creating the Deltopia Facebook page, which they said brought in thousands of outsiders to the small college town.

  • girl_child_coughing_sick_whooping_cough

    Contagious Diseases Making a Comeback in California

    Deadly diseases that were a thing of the past are making a comeback in California.

  • Slideshow: 3 Dead In Early Morning Accident, Driver Arrested For DUI

    The 101 southbound through Santa Barbara reopened just before 12:30 Monday afternoon as authorities investigate what they say was a deadly two car DUI accident.

  • Netflix file

    Brian Snyder/Reuters

    14 alternatives to Netflix

    Out of love with Netflix? Check out these alternatives to the company's instant streaming and DVD-by-mail services.