LANHAM, Md. (WNEW) — The FBI is offering a reward of up to $30,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of two violent serial bank robbers that have recently robbed seven banks in Northern Virginia and Maryland.
Referred to as the “Black Hat Bandits,” officials say the men have become more brazen at each robbery having threatened bank customers and tellers, most recently holding a gun to a customer’s head, and jumping teller counters in attempts to gain access to bank vaults.
During each robbery, the Black Hat Bandits have been described as carrying handguns and wearing winter coats, sunglasses, black hats (either a winter knit cap or wide brimmed hat) and facial disguises such as ski masks or a fake beard.
The Black Hat Bandits are believed to be responsible for the following robberies committed between Jan. 2 and Feb. 18:
On Friday, Jan. 2 at approximately 10:50 a.m., a white male robbed the Bank of America located at 1369 Chain Bridge Road in McLean, Virginia. Police say he wearing a partial facial disguise when he entered, brandished a weapon and robbed the bank.
On Friday, Jan. 16, at approximately 3:17 p.m., two males entered the BB&T located at 8416 Arlington Blvd., in Fairfax, Virginia, and robbed the bank. One of the men brandished a firearm and demanded money from the tellers. Police say the men fled on foot and entered a parking garage behind the bank.
On Tuesday, Jan. 20 at approximately 2:53 p.m., two males entered the Bank of America located at 235 Maple Avenue West in Vienna, Virginia, and robbed the bank. Both men brandished weapons. One man demanded money from the bank tellers. They fled on foot to a nearby vehicle headed in the direction of Church Street.
On Friday, Jan. 30, two men robbed the Essex Bank located at 1460 Ritchie Highway in Arnold, Maryland. Both men entered the bank carrying handguns. One robber was wearing a dark overcoat, sunglasses, a wide-brimmed black hat, a long fake beard and scarf. The other robber was wearing a dark ski jacket, white and black scarf covering his face and dark pants. After robbing the tellers, the men fled the bank in a nearby vehicle.
On Thursday, Feb. 5 a white male entered the SunTrust Bank located at 3070 Leonardtown Road in Waldorf, Maryland, carrying a handgun. He was wearing a dark overcoat, sunglasses, a wide brimmed black hat, long fake beard and scarf. Witnesses described him as being about 5-foot-8 in his early-to-mid forties. The robber took the case from the teller and fled to a nearby vehicle.
On Wednesday, Feb. 18 at approximately 3:12 pm, two men robbed a BB&T Bank located at 440 East Maple Avenue in Vienna, Virginia. One man was described as white male wearing all black with a black mask covering his face. The other man was described as a black male wearing all black with a black mask covering his face. Both men were carrying handguns. Forty minutes later at 3:56 p.m., the two men robbed the Wells Fargo Bank located at 47040 Community Plaza in Sterling, Virginia. They were again described as wearing black ski masks and all black clothing. One of the men put his gun to a customer’s head while demanding everyone to “get down,” and demanded money from a victim teller. In both robberies the men fled the banks with an undisclosed amount of money.
The FBI says they should be considered armed and dangerous. The FBI Washington and Baltimore Field Offices are investigating these bank robberies with local law enforcement partners in Northern Virginia and Maryland and ask that anyone with information call the FBI at 202-278-2000 or 410-265-8080.
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact your local FBI Office or the nearest American Embassy or Consulate. You can also submit a tip at: tips.fbi.gov.
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