Bank robbery in Pismo Beach is SLO County's 10th this year

jhickey@thetribunenews.comAugust 14, 2013 

A woman matching the description of the Central Coast Bandit robbed a bank in Pismo Beach on Wednesday, Aug. 14.

FBI

The Central Coast Bandit has struck again.

A woman matching her description — an overweight Hispanic or white female in her 30s or 40s — robbed Pacific Western Bank at 831 N. Oak Park Blvd. in Pismo Beach at 2:25 p.m. Wednesday, according to the Pismo Beach Police Department.

The serial bank robber is believed to be responsible for six bank robberies in California since December, including four in San Luis Obispo County.

During the Aug. 14 robbery, she wore a straw hat and plastic-rimmed glasses. She asked to cash a check, but handed the teller a note demanding money. No weapon was seen or simulated.

“It was pretty quick, in and out,” said Cmdr. Jake Miller with the Pismo Beach police.

Witnesses did not see her flee the shopping area. While an officer initially reported that she may have fled in a light blue four-door Kia sedan, that information could not be confirmed, Miller said. Still, it is not being ruled out, he added.

In some of the robberies, the Central Coast Bandit has indicated she may be working with other individuals outside of the bank — though no suspects have been seen by witnesses — the FBI said in a news release sent Wednesday seeking the public’s assistance in identifying the bandit.

This is the 10th bank robbery in San Luis Obispo County this year. In 2012, there were three.

According to witness accounts, the Central Coast Bandit has been seen carrying a pistol during some robberies and has been seen fleeing in either a grey sedan or gold-colored SUV, the FBI said.

The FBI and law enforcement in San Luis Obispo, Monterey and Stanislaus counties are conducting a joint investigation.

Central Coast Bandit's heists

The Central Coast Bandit has been linked to the following bank robberies, according to the FBI:

  • Dec. 31, 2012: Monterey Credit Union, 161 Fountain St., Pacific Grove, Monterey County
  • Feb. 14: Pacific Western Bank, 7035 El Camino Real, Atascadero, SLO County
  • June 27: Coast Hills Federal Credit Union, 532 W. Tefft St., Nipomo, SLO County
  • July 16: Golden One Federal Credit Union, 128 Niblick St., Paso Robles, SLO County
  • July 18: Farmers Merchants, 1700 McHenry Ave., Modesto, Stanislaus County
  • Aug. 14: Pacific Western Bank, 831 Oak Park Blvd., Pismo Beach, SLO County

Note: In addition, just before robbing Pacific Western Bank on Feb. 14, the bandit walked into Chase Bank, 8055 El Camino Real, Atascadero, checked it out and left.

MAP: See details on the 10 bank robberies in SLO County this year »

Images of the Central Coast Bandit

These images of the woman who robbed Pacific Western Bank in Pismo Beach on Wednesday were provided by the FBI.

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