FBI Warns of 'Route 91 Bandit': 'We Need to Put a Stop to This'

$10K reward for perp who's hit nearly a dozen banks along New England interstate
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 14, 2022 7:00 AM CST

His disguise is no more elaborate than a coronavirus-preventing face mask (usually not worn properly, hanging underneath his nose), but the man dubbed the "Route 91 Bandit" has still managed to pull off nearly a dozen bank robberies throughout New England over the past several months. Now, the FBI is asking for the public's help in catching the man, who the bureau says started his crime spree at an Arrha Credit Union in West Springfield, Mass., in early September, reports CNN. Since then, the "unknown serial bank robber"—whose other nickname comes from the fact that all his targets took place along Interstate 91—has hit 10 other banks in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Vermont.

The FBI is circulating one video that shows the man entering a bank in Athol, Mass., on Nov. 5, wearing a dark-colored hoodie that said "Post University" across the front and "No Hall Like Ohall 2016-2017" on the back. After handing a piece of paper to one of the bank employees, the suspect is seen bringing three of them into a back room, then leading them back to an office area, where he's handed two bundles of cash before leaving—a hit that took about five minutes in total. The man is described as being white, with light-colored hair and blue eyes, between 5 foot 6 inches and 5 foot 8 inches tall, and often sporting a hoodie and white sneakers. He's believed to be "armed and dangerous"—and has threatened to use his firearm during the robberies, per the FBI—and may be driving a newer Nissan sedan.

"We need to put a stop to this man's crime spree before someone gets hurt," says Joseph R. Bonavolonta, special agent in charge of the FBI's Boston Field Office, per a release. NBC News notes that of the two dozen serial bank robbers the FBI is seeking, the Route 91 Bandit has robbed the second-highest number of banks; the top spot goes to the "Midday Bandit," who pulled off 12 robberies (and tried for three more) throughout Illinois between 2014 and 2016. The FBI is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for any info that leads to the Route 91 Bandit's arrest and conviction. (More bandits stories.)

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