‘Green Gaiter Bandit’ is charged after multiple bank heists in L.A., O.C.
A man dubbed the “Green Gaiter Bandit,” who federal authorities say robbed several banks in Orange and Los Angeles counties while wearing distinct face masks, has been charged in the hold-ups, the FBI announced.
Christopher Paul Daniels, 55, of Torrance, was charged Monday with bank robbery, according to the FBI, which says Daniels robbed or attempted to rob 12 banks in the first two months of 2022.
Federal investigators say Daniels confessed to the crimes after he waived his Miranda rights following his arrest on Sunday.
In the dozen robberies and attempted robberies, Daniels wore a gaiter mask over the lower part of his his face, but left his nose and eyes exposed while he committed the robberies, authorities said.
That allowed video surveillance to capture his large stature, gray hair and what investigators described as Daniels’ “distinct nose,” according to charging documents naming him as the prime suspect in their investigation.
Bank tellers described the robber, who demanded they hand over all their “loose bills,” as having light-colored blue or green eyes. Daniels has blue eyes and similar facial features to the person seen on video surveillance at the banks, federal investigators said.
The bandit has worn a green neck gaiter or another face covering during the robberies and attempted robberies, according to the FBI.
Starting on Jan. 7, Daniels robbed a bank in Mission Viejo, where he made off with $1,400, court records show. Later that month, he tried to rob a bank in Placentia, but the bank teller pressed the silent alarm after the robber said: “This is a robbery; give me all your loose fifties and hundreds right now.”
Untroubled by that failed attempt, Daniels robbed a bank in Fullerton about 30 minutes later, prosecutors said. He made off with $260, according to federal investigators.
The “Green Gaiter Bandit” would go on to rob several other banks in Orange and Los Angeles counties, the FBI said. He earned his name after investigators revealed the bank robber wore the same face gaiters during multiple heists. The robber also wore a bulky, dark work jacket, according to charging documents.
Over a five-day period in February, Daniels robbed three banks, authorities said, and during them, he wore a distinct neon-yellow or green-and-black camouflage face gaiter.
Authorities focused on Daniels during their investigation and linked his white Toyota Yaris to the scene of several bank robberies. An investigator who found Daniels’ car parked near his home was able to see a green camouflage gaiter in the backseat, along with a tie-dye pattern sweatshirt that was worn by the bandit during a robbery in Downey.
After his arrest Sunday, Daniels described to investigators the clothes he wore during the robberies and where he stashed the stolen money, which authorities found during a search of his home and car. He was charged in a federal court in Santa Ana on Monday and is being held without bond after a request was denied.
Local police have responded to 19 bank robberies or attempted robberies throughout Orange and L.A. counties since October. All were committed by a person described as a white male, but Daniels has been linked to only 12 of the robberies, according to the FBI. At least one additional suspect is being sought in the other heists.
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