'Central Coast Bandit' blamed for three local bank robberies

jhickey@thetribunenews.comJuly 17, 2013 

The "Central Coast Bandit" is suspected of three local bank robberies in Atascadero, Paso Robles and Nipomo, from February to July.

Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated how many banks were robbed by the "Central Coast Bandit." She's believed to have robbed three banks in SLO County; she cased a fourth bank but did not take any money, the FBI has clarified.

A serial bank robber dubbed the “Central Coast Bandit" has been preying on local banks, according to the FBI.

She is suspected to have robbed three San Luis Obispo County banks and one Monterey County bank since December, including Pacific Western Bank in Atascadero on Valentine's Day; Coast Hills Federal Credit Union in Nipomo on June 27; and Golden 1 Federal Credit Union in Paso Robles on July 17. She's also believed to have cased Citibank in Atascadero prior to robbing Pacific Western, the FBI said.

The bandit is described in a "wanted" flier by the FBI as a white or Hispanic woman age 35 to 45, around 5 feet 5 inches tall, and weighing 150 to 160 pounds.

She is believed to be armed with a pistol and is possibly driving a gray sedan or gold "Suburban-type" vehicle, according to the flier.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the FBI at 310-477-6565.

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