FBI needs your help finding serial bank robber ‘Too Tall Bandit’

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SPARTANBURG CO., S.C. (WSPA) – The FBI is asking for your help in a case about a serial bank robber known as the “Too Tall Bandit.”

They say his crimes span across three states and they believe he recently struck again, hitting his 16th bank last week in North Carolina.

“This is sort of a unique case,” Public Information Officer for the FBI Shelley Lynch said. “You typically do not see someone robbing banks for this long a period of time.”

The FBI is looking for the man they believe is responsible for a total of 16 bank robberies and a pharmacy robbery, dating back to 2009.

He’s been nicknamed by the FBI as the “Too Tall Bandit” because of his height.

“He’s so tall. He’s either between 6’3″ and 6’6″,” Lynch said.

They say the bandit’s been targeting banks in Tennessee, North Carolina, and South Carolina over the last 11 years. They said he usually picks banks in more rural areas.

“These are banks that may have woods nearby for him to kind of quickly get away. And, perhaps, there is a car that’s parked somewhere else, but what we haven’t seen is a getaway vehicle, so we believe he may be hiding that somewhere nearby,” Lynch said.

Investigators told 7 News he typically goes in the bank right before closing time and is always heavily disguised.

“Sometimes a ski mask, sometimes a Halloween mask,” Lynch said. “Also, a heavy coat and other dark clothing. Most of the time, he has had gloves on; but, in several of the robberies, he did not wear gloves and it appears that he’s a white male.”

There are some things about him that you can be on the lookout for. Investigators believe he’s roughly 40 years old, weighs between 210 and 250 pounds, possibly has brown eyes and a noticeable limp in his right leg.

“If you see him walking, then maybe someone will say, ‘Okay, I do know who that is.’ They may recognize his size. They may recognize the fact that the tellers say he has a very deep voice. Sometimes, he’s worn the same clothing, so someone might recognize that as well,” Lynch said.

According to the FBI, in each robbery, he’s carried a black handgun in his right hand.

He’s considered extremely dangerous and they say it’s important he’s caught before anyone gets hurt.

“We don’t want to waste another second,” Lynch said. “Typically, he does come into the bank in an aggressive manner. He points a gun at the employees who are in the bank, and, many times, he’s actually jumped the counter.”

The FBI is offering a reward of up to $15,000 for any information that could help identify the suspect and lead to his arrest.

To report tips to the FBI, you can call 1-800-CALL FBI or 1-800-225-5324.

Here is a list of the banks the “Too Tall Bandit” is believed to have robbed:

  • November 27, 2009, Volunteer State Bank, 2920 Highway 31 W, White House, TN
  • November 12, 2010, Sumner Bank & Trust, 780 Browns Lane, Gallatin, TN
  • November 09, 2012, SunTrust Bank, 731 Cool Springs Blvd, Franklin, TN
  • March 31, 2014, First Tennessee Bank, 11864 Kingston Pike, Farragut, TN
  • November 24, 2014, Tri-Summit Bank, 156 East Broadway Blvd, Jefferson City, TN
  • November 13, 2015, Home Federal Bank, 3671 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, TN
  • October 27, 2016, Capital Bank, 136 Concord Road, Knoxville, TN
  • November 25, 2016, First Citizens Bank, 104 Edgewood Street, Lyman, SC
  • November 16, 2016, Home Trust Bank, 140 Airport Road, Arden, NC
  • November 17, 2017, BB&T Bank, 263 East Broadway Blvd, Jefferson City, TN
  • November 24, 2017, Citizen’s National Bank, 813 Huckleberry Lane, Knoxville, TN
  • October 26, 2018, BB&T Bank, 818 Church St, N. Concord, NC
  • December 21, 2018, BB&T Bank, 850 Merrimon Ave, Asheville, NC
  • January 04, 2019, SunTrust Bank, 731 Cool Springs Blvd, Franklin, TN
  • November 06, 2020, First Bank, 2 Market St, Brevard, NC
  • November 27, 2020, United Community Bank, 50 United Bank Dr., Etowah, NC

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