SANTA ANA (CBS) — The FBI now believes a man they have dubbed the “Dying Son” bandit has struck at least five banks, two in Orange County and three in San Diego County.

Investigators hope video they released Friday will help them generate leads from the public on the identity of the bandit.

The FBI came up with the “Dying Son” nickname because he tells bank tellers that he is sorry for robbing them but needs the money to pay for his dying son’s medical bills, said Orange County sheriff’s spokesman Jim Amormino.

The suspect held up a U.S. Bank branch at 33621 Del Obispo Road in Dana Point about 2 p.m. Thursday and an hour later hit a Citibank branch at 23562 El Toro Road in Lake Forest, according to FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller.

On New Year’s Eve, the suspect went to a Citibank branch in Oceanside, at 4120 Oceanside Blvd., and initially told employees he wanted to open an account for his cancer-stricken son, Amormino said. He then informed tellers it was a stickup, but abruptly changed his mind and left, Amormino said.

About an hour later, he went to a nearby Bank of America branch at 4150 Oceanside Blvd. and robbed it, Amormino said.

The “Dying Son” bandit is also a suspect in the robbery of a California Bank and Trust branch at 135 Saxony Road in Encinitas on Dec. 16 and a Navy Federal Credit Union at 1824 Marron Road in Carlsbad on Nov. 14, Amormino said.

The suspect was described as a skinny white man in his mid-40s and about 5 feet, 8 inches tall, Eimiller said. He was unshaven and was wearing a T-shirt, sunglasses and baseball cap, and carrying a leather-bound notebook, in Thursday’s holdups.

Anyone with information about his identity or whereabouts was asked to call 1-800-TIP-OCCS.

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)


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