FBI investigating string of ABQ bank robberies

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Armed robbers are busy across the metro. The FBI is working half a dozen bank robberies right now, all of them in just the last month.

Investigators said that’s more than usual and they want the public’s help catching the culprits.

It happens fast, and much too often.

“In some of these cases, a threat was made, in some of these cases, a weapon was used, so we take that very seriously,” explained Frank Fisher, spokesman for the FBI in Albuquerque.

The FBI has seen six bank robberies in the metro area in the month of June. In each case, the suspect is still out there.

“We see bank robbers who try to favor highly trafficked areas where they can blend in very quickly with bystanders,” explained Fisher.

Fisher said banks close to the interstate are often targets since it’s often easier for the person to try and get away.

Compass Bank on Candelaria in northeast Albuquerque was hit twice in the last month. In one heist on June 25, a man seen wearing a green hat on surveillance runs in and demands cash from the teller as a customer stands by.

Then there’s a man described as black, in his 20s or 30s, roughly 6-feet tall. He pointed a gun as he robbed the Compass Bank on San Pedro.

Cameras captured another armed robber a week later at the Bank of the West on San Mateo. That suspect is described as a black man with green eyes, and may have a tattoo under his left eye. He was wearing a blue bandana over his face, with latex gloves, dark pants, and possibly faded jeans.

On June 27, a man robbed a Wells Fargo Bank on Constitution. He’s described as Hispanic, approximately 50 years old, wearing sunglasses, a grey sweatshirt, a dark baseball hat and dark pants.

The most recent bank robbery took place at a Bank of Albuquerque in Rio Rancho on June 30th. That suspect is clearly seen on surveillance, wearing a camouflage beanie, black jacket with red stripes, sunglasses with orange lenses, dark pants, and white plastic gloves.

“It’s a dangerous crime that afflicts the victims as well as any bystanders,” Fisher said.

In these six cases, no one was hurt, but it’s not always the case. Jeremiah Jackson is serving a life sentence after crashed into and killed two women while trying to flee a bank robbery in 2010.

In each case, the motive is cash, and often small amounts. The FBI says the risks and consequences aren’t worth it.

“Some bank robbers get away with as little as $200, but yet they’re facing some serious federal time, maybe up to 20 years in a federal prison,” Fisher explained.

The FBI is investigating if these six crimes are connected. They believe as few as three people may be responsible for the June robberies.

Fisher said detectives work closely with local law enforcement, adding, they capture 70 to 80 percent of bank robbers in New Mexico, which is up from the national average of about 50 percent.

Bank robbers face up to 20 years in federal prison, plus stiffer penalties if they use a weapon, or have a criminal record.

Anyone with information can call 505-889-1300 (24 hours) and earn $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of a bank robber.

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