Search is on for Bad Breath Bandit as FBI gets creative with nicknames

Bad Breath Bandit
The “Bad Breath Bandit.”

A Northern California bank robber with an affinity for face masks could  have been dubbed as the “SARS Bandit,” the “Surgical Mask Bandit” or the “I Hate Smog Bandit." 

But the FBI settled on the “Bad Breath Bandit” when they came up with a moniker for a bank robber who favors a white surgical mask.

It’s unknown whether he actually suffers from bad breath -- probably because of the surgical mask.

The man has robbed three banks in the Northern California area over the last six months, according to the FBI.  The suspect uses a disposable paper face mask with yellow straps to conceal his identity.

On June 17, the suspect handed a black backpack to a bank teller at Tri Counties Bank in Nevada City, Calif., and demanded cash.  After receiving an undisclosed amount of money from the first teller, he proceeded to demand money from two other tellers, authorities said.

Earlier that day, the FBI said the same suspect entered a Bank of the West in Grass Valley.  He had a brief conversation with a bank employee but left on foot without incident.

Both times he wore a blue button-down shirt with sleeves pushed up, blue jeans, black shoes, and a black San Francisco Giants baseball cap. 

On Sept. 25, the FBI says the Bad Breath Bandit entered Umpqua Bank in Los Molinos with a gun. He aimed it at a teller and walked behind the teller’s desk to grab an undisclosed amount of cash.

On Thursday, the Bad Breath Bandit committed his third known robbery when he entered Tri Counties Bank in Durham.  He approached a teller and pulled out a black handgun while demanding cash.  He stuffed an undisclosed amount of cash in a blue backpack, authorities said.

Besides his attire, the FBI has only a generic description of the bank robber: a man with dark hair, standing about 6 feet tall and weighing approximately 210 to 250 pounds.

Anybody with information about this case should call (661) 323-9665 or 1-800-CALL-FBI.

For more California breaking news, follow LATangel.  She can be reached at