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‘Grandaddy Bandit’ Wanted By FBI In Houston Bank Robberies, $5,000 Reward Offered

The unidentified man is suspected in two armed robberies in committed in one day in Houston last week.

By Dorian Geiger
Granddaddy Bandit Fbi 1

Federal authorities are scrambling to identify a graying thief they’ve nicknamed the “grandaddy bandit,” who tried to rob two Houston banks on the same day last week.

The FBI’s Violent Crime Task Force is seeking any information that could help to identify the unknown crook who committed armed robberies at a Chase Bank and Capital One Bank in northeast Houston on Friday. Investigators, who described the suspect as a white male in his late 50s or early 60s, nicknamed him the “granddaddy bandit.” 

The armed thief entered a Chase Bank in the 1200 Block of Northwest Freeway carrying a black backpack at approximately 2 p.m. on Jan. 21, according to an FBI press release sent to Oxygen.com. The man allegedly showed his firearm to a bank teller and demanded cash, but left empty-handed, investigators said. The Chase bank employee reportedly didn’t have access to money.

About an hour and a half later, the unidentified man attempted a second bank heist at a Capital One Bank in the 1500 Block of Studemont Street — about nine miles southeast of the Chase, towards downtown Houston. 

“He approached the teller counter, told the teller he was committing a bank robbery and demanded cash,” the FBI said in a prepared statement. “The suspect displayed a handgun that was concealed in his backpack. After the teller complied, the "Grandaddy Bandit" ran out of the bank with an undisclosed amount of money.”

It’s unclear how much cash the alleged suspect made off with in total. 

The wanted man — described by witnesses as having a medium to heavy-set build — wore sunglasses, a black Nike baseball style hat with a Texas Tech University logo on the front of it, a dark long-sleeved shirt and dark pants. The man was also wearing a protective face covering with his nose hanging out.

The FBI have also released bank surveillance images of the suspected bank robber, as well as his single cab, black Ford F-150 pickup truck

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Houston Crime Stoppers are offering a $5,000 reward for information related to the accused bankrobber’s apprehension.

But as of Monday afternoon, authorities hadn’t identified the suspected thief. 

“To our knowledge, there has not been an arrest, the suspect's identity remains unknown and there are no updates presently available beyond the issued media advisory at this time,” CJ Jones, a public affairs officer for the FBI, told Oxygen.com in a statement on Monday.

The FBI declined to answer further questions on the pending investigation. 

The unknown man is not the first of his name. Michael Francis Mara, who stole tens of thousands of dollars from 26 banks in 14 states between 2008 and 2010, was also similarly dubbed the “granddad bandit.” The then-53 year-old was sentenced to 25 years in prison in 2011 after a tipster identified him from a billboard, according to the FBI. Mara was ultimately ordered to pay back upwards of $83,000 he’d stolen from banks across the country, according to AL.com.

Anyone with information related to the open case involving the Houston bank robberies is urged to call the FBI Houston Field Office by calling 713-222-TIPS or 713-693-5000.

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