Photos of La Jolla bank robbery suspect released

By City News Service

A thief who appeared to be in his 70s claimed to be carrying a grenade and threatened a teller’s life Monday while robbing a La Jolla bank.

The bandit, described as a 6-foot-tall bald man with a wrinkled face and blotchy skin, handed a demand note to a cashier at the California Bank & Trust branch office in the 1100 block of Wall Street about 9:40 a.m., according to San Diego police.

The man, who was wearing a soft-brimmed hat and tan gloves, told the employee he would shoot her if she put an anti-theft exploding dye pack in his loot, though no gun was seen, according to San Diego police.

After receiving an undisclosed amount of money, he fled the area on foot, toward Ivanhoe Avenue.

Witnesses said the robber may have been wearing a realistic rubber mask, SDPD Lt. Andra Brown said.

Despite an apparent age similarity, the thief is not believed to be the so-called “Geezer Bandit,” an unidentified elderly-looking man who has robbed 10 banks in the San Diego area and several others in Riverside and Kern counties since August 2009.

Investigators have said the prolific serial robber may be a younger man who disguises himself with a particularly authentic mask similar to ones used in Hollywood movies.

Anyone with information concerning this robbery is asked to contact the FBI at (858) 565-1255, San Diego Police Department Robbery Unit at (619) 531-2299 or CrimeStoppers at (888) 580-8477.