Bank robber blames illness for crime

ENCINITAS — A man wearing a Santa hat and white sunglasses who claimed his kid was dying robbed the California Bank and Trust at 135 Saxony Road, and jogged away with a green bag full of money on Dec. 16, just before 2 p.m., according to the FBI, San Diego Division.

The suspect approached a teller with a note written on a bank deposit slip, according to the sheriff’s department.

He demanded money and then made a verbal demand and said he had a gun.

According to a detective at the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, Encinitas Station, the note read “My kid is dying and I can’t afford to pay. I’m scared and have a gun. Please no GPS or red dye.”

Bait money is commonly prepackaged at banks and can include tracking devices such as dye or a GPS unit.

Detective Bob Stevenson of the Encinitas Sheriff’s Station, said when GPS is used with bait money it’s a transmitter submitted to a pack of bills.

But in this case, neither were used.

“The bank teller was really shaken up. She didn’t put any GPS or red dye in it,” Stevenson said.

Authorities said the suspect put the money into a green tote bag he had carried into the bank, and was witnessed jogging away, although he appeared to have an injury on his right leg.

The robber was seen entering a gold Honda sport utility vehicle, believed to be a 2002-to-2005 model with a spare tire mounted on the back.

The mounted spare tire also had a faded black cover on it, according to reports.

The Santa-hat robber is described as a white male, approximately age 50, with a medium build and five-feet-three to five-feet-five and 140 pounds.

He was wearing a white sweater and white gym shoes, blue jeans and a red and white Santa hat and white-framed glasses.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the FBI at (858) 565-1255 or Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477. Callers may remain anonymous.

The FBI is also seeking information on a Nov. 4 robbery of the Pacific Western Bank at 6119 El Tordo, Rancho Santa Fe.

A man wearing a dust mask covering his mouth and nose entered the bank at 3:30 p.m., with a white plastic pesticide sprayer and a gun described as a possible semi-automatic pistol.

He received a sum of money and ran out of the bank.

He is said to be about five-feet-eleven with a thin build and approximately age 30.

The FBI bulletin described him as having wavy, brown hair and being unshaven.

The suspect also wore a yellow raincoat and baseball hat.

Officials refer him to as the “Bug Spray Bandit.”

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