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Serial bank robber hits banks in Los Altos, Sunnyvale

Police hope image from security camera helps identify bank robber

A man who robbed two U.S. Bank branches within 20 minutes of each other on Monday (Oct. 24) is a serial bank robber who has struck three or four other U.S. Bank branches in the area, Los Altos police said.

The man entered the U.S. Bank at 1001 Fremont Ave. in Los Altos at 1 p.m. and handed the teller a demand note. No weapon was seen but he stated he was "armed," Los Altos police Sgt. Cameron Shearer said. The man had struck a Sunnyvale branch just 20 minutes before.

Witnesses' descriptions have varied, with the man being described as East Indian or Middle Eastern, Shearer said. He is in his 30s, 5 feet 8 inches in height and weighs about 180 pounds. He wears glasses and has a full black beard but it is unclear if the beard is real, Shearer said.

He wore a light blue or white long-sleeved shirt and light-colored pants, and in Monday's robberies has a black computer-type messenger bag.

In the Los Altos robbery, the teller gave the man an undisclosed amount of cash. He left the area on foot toward Miramonte Avenue, Shearer said.

Shearer said it isn't unusual for bank robbers to hit all of the same type of bank.

"A lot of it is what they get comfortable with," Shearer said.

If the robber knows the layout of the bank and patterns or if he or she has had luck robbing the bank the first time the robber will stick with that bank, Shearer said.

"Sometimes it's superstition," he said.

Anyone with information about the robber or robberies is asked to call the Los Altos Police Department at 650-947-2770.

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