A rash of bank robberies have occurred in the D.C. metropolitan area in 2015, and many of them are still unsolved.
Alleged “Nike Baseball Cap Bandit” wanted in connection with SunTrust Bank robbery in Southeast D.C.
Presently, the FBI is looking for 35 men who have robbed banks and two men who are wanted for robbing armored cars. All men are unknown at this time. Of the suspects, two men have been identified as the “Nike Baseball Cap Bandit” and the “Forever Loyal Bandit.” They are wanted in connection with a series of bank robberies in the area with the latest being a SunTrust bank on Pennsylvania Avenue in Southeast D.C. on Nov. 9 and a Capital One bank on Columbia Pike in Arlington County, Virginia on Oct. 30, respectively. Both bandits are Black.
According to the FBI, the “Nike Baseball Cap Bandit” is between 50-60 years old, about 5’7” tall, with a medium build. The FBI is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information that leads to his the identification and arrest.
The “Forever Loyal Bandit” is described as a serial bank robber, who has held up banks in the Falls Church, Virginia area, including the Capital One Bank at Seven Corners Center that has been robbed twice.
The FBI titles unknown serial bandits with nicknames from what they wear when conducting the crime to catch the suspected criminals.
Earlier in the year, two suspects were arrested in an armed bank robbery at a TD Bank on Rhode Island Avenue in Northeast D.C. Sunny Parakh, 30, known as the “Sharp Dressed Bandit” was arrested in April and charged with three robberies in Northern Virginia, including one at the Presidential Bank in Arlington and two in Alexandria. Police said he also committed bank robberies in Dupont Circle in D.C., according to news reports.
Thomas Anthony George, 66, of Southeast Washington was arrested in March for a robbery at a Wells Fargo Bank. He is linked with the Black Hat Bandits gang, a group, toting signature black hats, that is believed to be responsible for nine robberies in D.C., Virginia, and Maryland. The same month Wassen Assaye, 42, was arrested for a string of bank robberies that started in October 2013.
Data obtained from the FBI’s Washington Field office shows that there were 3,961 bank robberies in 2014 (the most recent data available), which resulted in 13 deaths, 31 hostages and 42 people suffering from injuries.
In 2015, the District has seen a rise in crime with the Metropolitan Police Department reporting 140 homicides as of Nov. 11, compared to 90 in 2014.
“We also need to focus on other types of crime as well; such as robbery,” said Mary Cheh (D-Ward 3), at a hearing on public safety in September. “It does and can result in death in some cases. Sometimes I think of robbery as “pre-murder” of crime.”
According to usnews.com, an average bank robber in 2010 only netted $7,500 dollars. Cyber bank robberies are the new alternative. The biggest one reported, so far, was in February by cybercriminals named Carbanak that raided 100 banks in 30 countries over a two-year period. The payoff was $1 billion dollars.