“Cyborg Bandit” caught, wanted for bank robberies in two counties, Kirkland

Seattle Safe Streets Task Force officers arrested a man whom they believe is both the “Cyborg Bandit” and the “Elephant Man” serial bank robbers.

The task force arrested a 44-year-old Everett man immediately after he exited a Key Bank in the University District of Seattle on Feb. 11 shortly after 4:30 p.m.

Task force investigators nicknamed the bank robber, who wore a metallic-like, textured fabric over his face, the “Cyborg Bandit” because of the material’s similar appearance to cyborgs and Cylons in science fiction productions. Investigators nicknamed the bank robber who covered his head with a shirt or other material bearing two small eye holes the “Elephant Man Bandit” because of the similarity to a character in a movie of the same name. Combining bank robberies attributed to each nicknamed robber, investigators believe the subject in custody may be responsible for 30 bank robberies throughout King and Snohomish Counties, including the Totem Lake Wells Fargo in Kirkland on Nov. 30, 2013.

Through the lengthy, joint investigation with partners across the two counties, investigators identified a van they believed was associated with the “Cyborg Bandit.” The van with a lone, white, male driver began to drive around the Key Bank on 25th Avenue NE in the University District of Seattle. After two hours of surveillance, he was observed putting on a mask and entering the bank around 2 p.m. Key Bank reported a robbery by a masked man around 4:30 p.m. When the previously observed individual exited the bank, task force agents arrested the man on probable cause.

A search warrant was immediately sought for the subject’s North Everett residence. The Everett Police Department served the search warrant at approximately midnight on Feb. 12 with the assistance of the task force and other FBI personnel. Investigators recovered sufficient evidence to support proceeding with the investigation.

The task force continues to investigate the bank robberies attributed to the Cyborg Bandit and/or the Elephant Man.

The bank robberies usually took place in the late afternoon and the subject generally wore latex gloves and covered his face.

The Seattle Safe Streets Task Force includes members from the FBI, Auburn Police Department, Bellevue Police Department, King County Sheriff’s Office and Seattle Police Department. This joint investigation also combines the investigative and analytic expertise of the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office and Bothell, Edmonds, Everett, Mill Creek, Mountlake Terrace, Mukilteo and Shoreline police departments.

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