SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Last month, investigators arrested a 72-year-old man suspected of being the Golden State Killer. It could be the dramatic end of a four decades old search for the suspect.
Which got us thinking, whatever happened to the cold case of the “Geezer Bandit” who may not even be a senior citizen anyway? And, could advanced technology ever help find him?
He was the most elusive senior citizen during a two-year crime spree. The bank robber the FBI nicknamed the “Geezer Bandit” because of his geriatric appearance.
The “Geezer”, who may have been a much younger person using a professional grade prosthetic mask, robbed 16 banks from San Diego to San Luis Obispo from 2009 to 2011. 11 of those robberies happened in San Diego County.
“Profiling as you understand now is a pretty big spectrum,” says Jack Hamlin.
Hamlin is a Professor at National University and professional criminal profiler. We asked him how this person, seven years later, has become the modern-day D.B. Cooper and why he, or she, would simply vanish.
“We have an expression in law enforcement, we only catch the dumb ones,” says Hamlin.
The “Geezer” was one of the best. Performing almost mistake free and seemingly very sophisticated. The mask may not have been his only disguise, and he was said to wear gloves, there was no known getaway vehicle, the robberies were during off-peak hours and with little security. And five of his robberies were on a Friday, payday. So, we asked the question, ‘Is it possible this person had some law enforcement training?’
“It’s certainly somebody that understands how things work,” added Hamlin. “These robberies weren’t random. He’s figured out a time when security is low; he’s figured out a time when there’s going to be plenty of cash, Friday.”
The “Geezer developed a cult following with thousands of followers on Facebook. T-shirts are still available celebrating ‘Geezer Bandit for President.’ But his last robbery was December of 2011. That's the only time a dye pack was used, exploding and making the money useless, and possibly his disguise too. We haven’t heard from the “Geezer” since.
“I don’t see this person suddenly having an epiphany and saying, ‘It’s over with. I don’t need to do it anymore,’” says a skeptical Hamlin.
Hamlin says people like this need the rush and rarely just quit. But the one mistake the “Geezer” made on that final robbery was dropping a day-planner which he carried as part of his disguise. If it holds his DNA, Hamlin says there may be an option to use a genealogy website like investigators did to catch the person they believe is the Golden State Killer.
“Now you’ve got this public DNA base, and if there is some way they can tap into that, um, the skies the limit on some of these cases,” says Hamlin.
UPDATE: The FBI tells 10News there has been no change in this case since the last attempted robbery in 2011. However, the field office in San Diego is always willing to work with the community if there is new information that might lead to an arrest of the person known as the "Geezer Bandit." You can contact the San Diego Field Office at 10385 Vista Sorrento Parkway
San Diego, CA 92121, by email at sandiego.fbi.gov, or by phone at (858) 320-1800.
See a timeline of the Geezer Bandit robberies in California: