7 downtown Glendale banks targeted by robbers

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESurfer attacked by shark near Channel Islands calls rescue a ‘Christmas miracle’A man police described as in his late 20s with shoulder-length hair entered the bank at 330 N. Brand Blvd. at 3:15 p.m. Monday and took nearly $3,400 from a teller after flashing what appeared to be a semiautomatic handgun inside his jacket. This followed Thursday’s robbery at Community Bank at 100 N. Brand Blvd. by a man police dubbed the “Fingertip Bandit” for the tape he wore around his fingers. He entered the bank at 2 p.m. and demanded money, then fled into the Glendale Galleria and emerged wearing different clothes. Overall, robberies citywide also are on the rise – 113 reported in the first nine months of 2006, compared with 99 in the same period last year, police said. Bill Rehder, a security consultant and retired FBI agent who spent 31 years with the bureau’s bank robbery squad in Southern California, also noted a seasonal pattern, although location remains the key factor. “During the winter months, and particularly around the time of the (daylight-saving) time change, there may be a few more,” he said. “But that’s not a trend we can count on. That section of Glendale on Brand Boulevard has been the site of many robberies, but I certainly wouldn’t read anything into a small blip. There’s probably a couple of serial bandits.” In fact, three of the seven robberies are believed to be the work of the “Different Hat Bandit,” a robber of matching description known for disguising himself with fishing hats. Some downtown merchants said the string of robberies is a concern, but acknowledged they’re part of doing business in the city. “As a merchant, it’s a little bit of concern,” said Vickie McConnell, who owns a frame store along Brand and is an officer in the Downtown Glendale Merchants Association. “But I don’t see what I can do about it other than to be diligent. … I feel generally pretty safe.” Balian said the best way to handle a holdup is to cooperate with the robber, while noting any details or description that could tip off police. “Whether they’re bank employees or if they happen to be customers in a bank, just be good witnesses,” he said. “If they demand money, give them the money – the money’s not worth your life. And don’t try to detain them because they could be armed.” [email protected] (818) 546-3304160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! GLENDALE – Downtown banks have been a frequent target for robberies recently, and authorities said Tuesday that they’re expecting even more as the holidays near. There have been seven bank robberies along Brand Boulevard since July. Although none has been violent, a robber who looted Union Bank of California on Monday – the third bank robbery in October – actually flashed a gun. Glendale police spokesman John Balian attributed the sudden bump in heists to the coming holiday season, although the boulevard has historically been targeted by robbers because of its proximity to the 134 Freeway and crowded streets that make for an easier escape. “People need money, and they’re in desperate need (during the holidays),” Balian said. “One way to get quick cash is to go into a bank.” last_img