One digital billboard on West Broad near Libbie Avenue is one of two that began showing the wanted banner Monday evening. The FBI hopes it will help crack a case that may have started in Richmond.
In between ads on the digital billboard, a ten second splash of a wanted poster for the man dubbed the Granddad Bandit. Myrna Alperin didn't realize it was only two months ago, the elusive bank robber struck at the Union First Market bank on West Broad in Glen Allen.
"He's been here," said Alperin.
He's been to quite a few other states since 2008 ---according to the feds.
At least 13 the FBI knows of. The FBI believes the Granddad Bandit started his crime spree at the downtown Richmond Suntrust bank building in December 2008. But believe he does not live or work anymore in the areas he targeted.
"He's traveling through so people may even see him at a rest area or something," said Mona Orange.
An FBI spokesperson says all the media attention when the crimes happened didn't generate positive leads so the federal agency put the Granddad Bandit's face on digital billboards in more than forty states. The FBI claims 36 crimes have been solved in recent years with the help of tips received from digital wanted ads just like this Including four in Virginia.
Myrna and Mona believe the more people who see this , the chances increase the FBI will rein in the Granddad Bandit.
"I think it keeps it in people's minds. If they see someone who looks like him they'd be more likely to do something about it," said Orange.
"We hope they're lucky and get one more bad guy off the street," said Alperin.
The second billboard featuring his picture is on Laburnum near Richmond International Raceway.
Believed to have begun in December of 2008 with a Richmond, Virginia robbery, the unidentified white male has subsequently targeted banks in at least 12 other states. The subject enters the banks calmly, oftentimes patiently waiting for his turn in line, and then as he approaches the victim tellers he presents his demand note. Once his demands are met he retrieves the note and exits the banks quietly so as not to bring attention to the crime he had just committed.
Bank robberies currently being attributed to this individual:
- SunTrust Bank - 919 East Main Street, Richmond, VA 12/19/2008
- Whitney National Bank - 50 North Royal Street, Mobile, AL 1/16/2009
- Amegy Bank of Texas - 711 Louisiana Street, Houston, TX 4/10/2009
- SunTrust Bank - 303 Peachtree Street NE, Atlanta, GA 4/29/2009
- Valley Bank - 36 Church Avenue SW, Roanoke, VA 5/29/2009
- Capital One Bank - 510 Park Street, Beaumont, TX 6/22/2009
- Arvest Bank - 500 Broadway Street, Little Rock, AR 7/3/2009
- Wells Fargo - 2611 Cedar Springs Road, Dallas, TX 7/24/2009
- Bank of America - 100 North Broadway Street, Wichita, KS 8/7/2009
- Servis 1st Bank - 324 Richard Arrington Jr., Blvd. North, Birmingham, AL 8/21/2009
- Solvay Bank - 109 South Warren Street, Syracuse, NY 9/22/2009
- SunTrust Bank - 1503 Peachtree Street, Atlanta, GA 10/2/2009
- Bank of America - 3430 Thomasville Road, Tallahassee, FL 10/16/2009
- Regions Bank - 723 Garrison Avenue, Fort Smith, AR 12/10/2009
- Valley National Bank - 2020 East 21st Street, Tulsa, OK 12/11/2009
- RBC Bank - 2743 Chastain Meadows Parkway NW, Marietta, GA 12/18/2009
- Regions Bank - 1875 Lakeland Drive, Jackson, MS 1/20/2010
- First Bank - 625 Market Street, Knoxville, TN 2/11/2010
- BBVA Compass Bank – 114 Governor's Drive SE, Huntsville, AL 2/24/2010
- Bank of America – 1280 West Paces Ferry Road NW, Atlanta, GA 4/2/2010
- Hancock Bank – 2110 Demetropolis Road, Mobile, AL 4/16/2010
- PNC Bank – 286 East New Circle Road, Lexington, KY 4/28/2010
- Regions Bank – 5600 South Lindbergh Street, St. Louis, MO 5/18/2010
- Union First Market - 11263 West Broad Street, Glen Allen, VA 6/22/2010
- Wachovia Bank – 6801 Buffalo Speedway, Houston, TX 7/3/2010
This case has garnered media attention in many states and has been aired on America's Most Wanted. Increasing media exposure of this case by employing the new Digital Billboard Alert Network, a partnership with the Outdoor Advertising Association of America; conducting interviews with local and national news agencies, and increasing the reward to $25,000 should generate positive leads that will help law enforcement identify and/or locate this subject.
The "Granddad Bandit" is described as follows:
Race/Gender: White male
Age: between 45-60 years of age
Hair: Balding with short grayish hair on the sides
Misc.: Wears wire-rimmed glasses, polo-type shirts and ball caps; clean shaven
The link to the FBI's wanted poster is: http://www.fbi.gov/wanted/unkn/grandad.htm. Anyone with information should call the FBI's Tip-Line at 1-800-CALL FBI (1-800-225-5324). Select the option for the Serial Bank Robber aka, "The Granddad Bandit." The FBI is offering a $25,000 reward.