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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.


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