FBI upping reward for info on serial bank robber

Wess Haubrich

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The suspect.FBI

So far, the unknown suspect has knocked over at least six banks throughout New Mexico since early July.

The FBI is offering a cash reward (upped from $2,000` from July 28 to $5,000) for information leading to the apprehension of a sophisticated bank robber targeting financial institutions all over the state of New Mexico from early July till today.

The bandit’s M.O. is the old hat “demand note ” method – handing a threatening note to the teller demanding cash or something vile and horrible will happen.

The geographic and time schedules of the robberies are compelling to look at. Investigators in New Mexico and the FBI believe the very first robbery was July 15 at a Wells Fargo branch in Moriarity, population 2223.

Four days later, the same suspect allegedly hit the U.S. Bank in Moriarity (only 5 blocks west down Route 66 from the Wells Fargo).

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Distance between the two Moriarity locations and I-40.The author.

Still, the suspect was not done on the 19th: he robbed another Wells Fargo in Tijeras (population 610) – all of 21 miles west – in the direction of Albuquerque – along Route 66 from the Moriarity location.

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Moriarity west to Tijeras. Showing all 3 of the first locations.The author.

Fast forward only three days and the Wells Fargo in Socorro is knocked over by allegedly the same suspect. Here we have a geographic outlier for our robber. Socorro is almost two hours south and west of Moriarity, along the Rio Grande.

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Moriarity to Socorro.The author.

While Socorro’s population is only a hair short of 8500 souls, being about one hour and 40 minutes away from what could be considered our suspect’s area of geographic comfortability (around Moriarity and I-40, east of Albuquerque).

Socorro is still not far from I-25 as a major thoroughfare that hooks up with I-40 up north near Albuquerque. In fact, I-25 runs almost exactly 3 blocks parallel to the Socorro Wells Fargo location.

A little over one week later, the Wells Fargo in Bernalillo – population almost 10,000 – was hit. Using the Moriarity location as a central locus of the suspect’s comfort in criminality, the Bernalillo location is 52 minutes west on I-40 and north on I-25 at Albuquerque.

On August 9 the suspect reportedly knocked over his sixth bank, a Wells Fargo in Santa Fe. This undoubtedly shows him getting more comfortable as he moved to a more populated – and risky – area.

The suspect is described as Native American or Hispanic, 5’5” with a medium build. His age has been difficult to pin down, being estimated as 20s-40s.

Investigators are asking anyone with information to contact the FBI at (505) 889-1300, the Santa Fe Police Department at (505) 955-5044, or Albuquerque Metro Crime Stoppers, anonymously, at (505) 843-STOP.

Tips can also be submitted online at tips.fbi.gov.

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Former editor, now dogged-maverick journalist and researcher covering the crime beat. I examine the weird, absurd, and downright infamous in American crime both here and at Real Monsters podcast. Contact: wess@realmonsters.live

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