Bank robbing suspect using sportbike as getaway vehicle arrested after scuffle; three persons injured
News agencies in the Los Angeles area reported on Friday that a suspect who may be the so-called “Sports Bike Bandit” has been arrested after attempting to rob a bank in Long Beach, California. Given that label by the FBI because he wore motorcycle gear to hide his identity and used a sportbike as a getaway vehicle for his heists, the person has been suspected as being responsible for seven bank robberies over the past 12 months in the Southern California area. He was arrested after security guards and bank customers tackled and disarmed him as he was attempting to rob the Farmers and Merchants Bank at about 10:30 am. Three people, including the suspect, were injured in gunfire that erupted as he was being wrestled to the ground; none were hurt seriously. Local news footage showed police moving the suspect’s getaway vehicle, which appeared to be a second-gen Yamaha R1 with red duct tape and cellophane plastic plastered over all the bodywork in an apparent attempt to hide its actual color.
The FBI had released bank surveillance camera photos of the Sports Bike Bandit a few weeks ago, showing a person wearing a full-face helmet, jacket and gloves. News photos of the aftermath of the latest bank robbery attempt show a helmet that appears to be the same one in the FBI surveillance camera photos sitting on the floor of the bank, leading to news agency assumptions that this is the same person.
No wonder the bank tellers and managers were staring at me as I walked up to my local bank fully clad in motorcycle gear the other day. I’m smart enough not to walk into the bank with my helmet on, however; I took it off before walking in the door, putting them a bit more at ease. I found out later that it’s standard procedure at most banks to prepare to send an alarm if a helmeted person enters a bank. So don’t be a lazy fool and walk into your local bank with your helmet on. Not with yahoos like this guy giving us yet another negative stereotype we don’t need.