Nationwide effort launched to find the Loan Ranger Bandit - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Nationwide effort launched to find the Loan Ranger Bandit

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TYLER, TX (KLTV) -

He has robbed at least ten banks and eluded authorities across several states – now federal authorities are going nationwide in an effort to track down the so-called "Loan Ranger Bandit."

The Federal Bureau of Investigation launched a nationwide campaign Wednesday featuring the serial robber wanted in bank robberies across three states.

The suspect's picture will be posted on electronic billboards across five states and posted on a wanted poster on the FBI's website.

The robber is described in all the robberies as being in his early 30s, approximately 5'7'' to 6'0'' tall, and around 200 pounds. He is described as having short light brown hair, wears glasses and has a small mole or mark above his right eye.

The FBI still believes he may drive a maroon Chevrolet S-10 pickup with a thin white pinstripe around the bed of the truck. That truck was spotted on surveillance cameras after a robbery at the Tyler Altra Federal Credit Union.

THE TIMELINE

The robbery spree of the "Loan Ranger Bandit" dates back to 2009 starting with a robbery at a bank in Benton, Ark. He hit the same bank branch location in Benton two years later on June 30, 2011.

From there, his robbery spree went across state lines. On July 21, 2011, the man robbed the Citibank in Wichita Falls. On Aug. 31, 2011, the bandit robbed the Altra Federal Credit Union in Tyler. He entered the branch, told the teller it was a robbery and showed them a weapon in his coat.

The bandit's trail went silent until 2012 when his robberies moved to Central Texas. The bandit is seen on camera robbing the Union State Bank in Round Rock on Jan. 4, 2012 and the Santa Fe Community Credit Union in Temple on March 30, 2012.

The robber's spree moved back to East Texas on May 7, 2012, when he was spotted on camera robbing the Compass Bank in Tyler.

Just two months later, the robbery spree headed back west with the bandit caught on camera robbing the First State Bank in Salado on July 9, 2012. He did not wait long before striking again, robbing the FedStar Credit Union in College Station on Aug. 17, 2012.

The last known robbery of the "Loan Ranger Bandit" added another state to the serial robber's list. On Oct. 26, 2012, the bandit was caught on camera robbing a BancorpSouth branch in Madison, Miss. As WLBT-TV reported a large manhunt was launched for the suspect immediately following the robbery with searches on the ground and by air, but by that time the Loan Ranger Bandit was already gone.

THE LOOK OF A SERIAL ROBBER

Although he has been on the run for several years, the "Loan Ranger Bandit" has been no stranger to cameras.

In every robbery he has been caught on camera --- even some that have caught his robberies from eye-level. The robber has changed outfits from time-to-time dressing up in a jacket and a fedora-style hat in earlier robberies and casual workout-type clothes in the later robberies. In all of his holdups, it is clear the bandit made little to no attempt to hide his face.

"He doesn't disguise himself, so we have shots of his face and of his body and everything," said Don Martin, Tyler Police Department spokesperson in May 2012. "Just hey, here I am. Almost like he's asking to be caught."

THE NICKNAME

Since the identity of the man seen in at least ten bank robberies across three states has remained a mystery, investigators decided to give him a name.

After the May 2012 robbery of the Compass Bank in Tyler, the Tyler Police Department along with federal agents decided to name the man the "Loan Ranger Bandit." They chose the nickname since the suspect wore a blue Texas Rangers baseball cap while robbing mostly branches that issue loans.

Once he was given a nickname, his story took off. In August 2012, the bandit's spree was featured on America's Most Wanted.

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