FBI searching for serial ‘Burgundy Bandit’

SAN DIEGO -- Authorities asked the public Monday for help in identifying a man who has carried out at least nine San Diego-area commercial robberies in recent months, in several cases striking twice on a single day.

The prolific thief, dubbed the "Burgundy Bandit" by investigators due to the color of his clothing in several of the cases, carried a handgun tucked in his waistband while committing the crimes and displayed the weapon to employees in order to ensure their compliance, according to the FBI.

He also wore gloves, sunglasses and a baseball cap in an apparent attempt to disguise his features, the federal agency reported.

On several occasions, the perpetrator, who appears to be in his mid- 40s to early 60s, cased targeted establishments for five minutes or so prior to confronting workers and demanding cash.

He is believed to have robbed the following businesses:

-- June 27: Fred Loya Insurance, 342 N. Second St., El Cajon;

-- Aug. 17: Walmart, 300 N. Second St., El Cajon;

-- Sept. 7: Walmart, 8810 Grossmont Blvd., La Mesa;

-- Sept. 18: Fred Loya Insurance, 8333 Clairemont Mesa Blvd., San Diego;

-- Sept. 18: Fred Loya Insurance, 4120 Clairemont Mesa Blvd., San Diego;

-- Sept. 19: Leslie's Pool Supplies, 2916 Jamacha Road, San Diego;

-- Sept. 19: Yogurtland, 6165 El Cajon Blvd., San Diego;

-- Sept. 20: Walmart, 300 N. Second St., El Cajon; and

-- Oct. 12: Walmart, 3382 Murphy Canyon Road, San Diego.

Witnesses have described the bandit as a roughly 5-foot-8-inch, 175- pound black or Hispanic man with graying dark hair.

Anyone with information about any of the robberies is asked to call San Diego County Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477 or contact the agency online at sdcrimestoppers.org. Tipsters may remain anonymous and could be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

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