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Did The 'Snowboard Bandit' Strike Again?

Police and FBI agents believe the man who robbed Chase Bank branch, 30202 Crown Valley Parkway in Laguna Niguel on Feb. 21 may have struck again on Monday in Anaheim Hills.

An armed robber forced Bank of the West employees and customers into a vault at a branch in Anaheim Tuesday and got away with an undisclosed sum, police said.

No one was hurt in the roughly 9:20 a.m. holdup at 619 S. Brookhurst St., Anaheim police Sgt. Bob Dunn said. The robber was described as a 20-something Latino wearing a hooded black sweatshirt, Dunn said.

Police and FBI agents also sought the "Snowboarder Bandit," who is believed to have robbed the Schools First Credit Union in Anaheim Hills at 8152 E. Santa Ana Canyon Road about 6 p.m. Monday.

The robber is also suspected in a Feb. 13 holdup at the same branch. In Monday's holdup, the robber was wearing a black motorcycle helmet, a white button-down shirt and blue suit, instead of a knit cap and outdoor wear similar to what a snowboarder might wear. Police described thin about 6 feet tall. In the most recent robbery, the robber was wearing a black motorcycle helmet and a blue suit with a white, button-down shirt with no tie, Dunn said.

He was described as about 6 feet tall with a thin build, matching the Snowboarder Bandit, Dunn said. On Monday, the robber handed the teller a demand note, matching the pattern established by the nicknamed noun, Dunn said.

"We can't say for certain if it is'' the same person who held up the credit union, Dunn said. Laura Eimiller of the FBI agreed. "We haven't ruled out the possibility it may be two different individuals, however, there are similarities in the MO,'' Eimiller said. If the Snowboarder Bandit struck again Monday then that would bring the total of banks he is suspected of robbing to nine, Eimiller said.

The eighth holdup attributed to the Snowboarder Bandit was Feb. 21 at a Chase Bank branch, 30202 Crown Valley Parkway in Laguna Niguel. He has been described as a white man about 25 years old, 6 feet tall and 165 pounds.

The Snowboarder Bandit started his spree on Dec. 20 and is wanted for seven other holdups in Anaheim, Irvine, Newport Beach and elsewhere in south Orange County. Wells Fargo Bank and Schools First Credit Union are each offering a $5,000 reward for an arrest and conviction of the bandit.

--City News Service

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