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Authorities seek the 'Big Banana Bandit'

Fruit chomping suspect is suspected in at least eight robberies in South County.

July 26, 2007|David Haldane | Times Staff Writer

The Orange County Sheriff's Department on Wednesday asked for the public's help in finding a bank robber who has been dubbed the "Big Banana Bandit" because he was once seen eating a banana during a robbery.

The man is described as 35 years old, white, with a tan, about 5-feet-11 and weighing 190 to 200 pounds.

He has black hair and has been seen wearing sunglasses and a black baseball cap.

He is believed to be responsible for at least eight robberies since May in Laguna Niguel, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano and Aliso Viejo, authorities said.

His usual method is to enter the bank speaking on a cellphone and approach a teller.

He then presents a demand note while exposing a handgun in the waistband of his pants, authorities said.

After receiving money, they said, he flees on foot.

No escape vehicle has been seen.

The most recent target, authorities said, was a Citibank in the 31000 block of Del Obispo in San Juan Capistrano that was robbed Saturday.

Anyone with information is asked to call FBI Investigator Dan Stack at (714) 542-8825 or (310) 477-6565.

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david.haldane@latimes.com

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