VENTURA : Bank Robber Suspected in 3 Other Thefts

A man who robbed a Ventura bank Wednesday is suspected of holding up three other Ventura County banks this week, authorities said.

The Bank of A. Levy, 2499 Harbor Blvd., was robbed about 2:30 p.m., according to Gary Auer of the FBI's Ventura office.

The FBI believes that the robber, who ran away with an unknown amount of cash, also robbed two Port Hueneme banks last week and one in Oxnard on Monday, Auer said.

Imperial Savings, 2671 N. Ventura Road, and Bank of America, 755 W. Channel Islands Blvd., both of Port Hueneme, reported robberies on Sept. 19 and 21, respectively, Auer said.

First Nationwide Bank, 1055 S. Oxnard Blvd., Oxnard, reported a robbery Monday, he said.

In each case, the man presented a note claiming that he had a weapon, although he never showed one, Auer said.

The robber is described as a Latino man about 5 feet, 10 inches tall with a heavy build, short, black hair and a cleft chin, Auer said. On Wednesday, the robber was wearing a blue shirt such as those worn by service station workers, a blue baseball cap and sunglasses, he said.

This is the second string of bank robberies in the county in recent months. In August, authorities arrested two men suspected of robbing eight banks.

"It's not unusual that they hit more than one," Auer said. "In fact, it's very common because virtually all bank robbers are utilizing narcotics. They can't stop, so you continue seeing bank robbers doing more than one bank robbery."

Despite the two series of robberies, bank holdups are down this year compared to last. Wednesday's robbery was the 29th since January, Auer said. Last year at this time 56 banks had been robbed.

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