Seattle Safe Streets Task Force officers Tuesday arrested a man whom they believe is a serial bank robber known as both the "Cyborg Bandit" and the "Elephant Man." The man is a suspect in more than 30 bank robberies in King and Snohomish counties, including one in Bellevue in December.
On Tuesday, shortly after 4:30 p.m., the task force, which includes members from the FBI, the King County Sheriff's Office and the Auburn, Bellevue and Seattle police departments, arrested a 44-year-old Everett man immediately after he exited a Key Bank in the University District of Seattle.
SSSTF investigators nicknamed the bank robber who wore a metallic-like, textured fabric over his face the "Cyborg Bandit" because of the material's similar appearance to cyborgs and cylons in science fiction productions. SSTF investigators nicknamed the bank robber who covered his head with a shirt or other material bearing two small eye holes the "Elephant Man Bandit" because of the similarity to a character in a movie of the same name.
Through a lengthy, joint investigation, SSSTF investigators identified a van they believed was associated with the Cyborg Bandit. Around 2 p.m. on Tuesday the van with a lone, white, male driver began to drive around the Key Bank on 25th Avenue Northeast in the University District of Seattle.
After two hours of apparent surveillance of the bank by the individual, he was observed putting on a mask and entering the bank. Key Bank reported a robbery by a masked man around 4:30 pm. When the previously observed individual exited the bank, SSSTF agents arrested the man on probable cause.
A search warrant was immediately sought for the man's North Everett residence. Everett Police served the search warrant at approximately midnight with the assistance of the SSTF and other FBI personnel. Investigators recovered sufficient evidence to support proceeding with the investigation.
The SSSTF continues to investigate the bank robberies over the last year attributed to the Cyborg Bandit and/or the Elephant Man. The robberies usually took place in the late afternoon and the suspect generally wore latex gloves and covered his face.
In addition to the task force members, the investigation combined the investigative and analytic expertise of the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office and Bothell, Edmonds, Everett, Mill Creek, Mountlake Terrace, Mukilteo and Shoreline police departments.
For more information, please contact:
FBI Seattle Division
Public Affairs Specialist Ayn Sandalo Dietrich
Everett Police Department
Officer Aaron Snell, Community Information Officer
Seattle Police Department
Detective Renée Witt, Public Affairs
King County Sheriff’s Office
Sgt. Cindi West, Media Relations
Bellevue Police Department
Officer Carla Iafrate
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