Police: ‘Hypnotist Bandit’ May Be Behind String Of Bank Robberies

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A man suspected in a string of bank robberies has been charged with holding up another bank in Ventura County.

Manuel Jose Hernandez, 28, was arrested Monday shortly after he robbed a Chase Bank branch in Ventura, police said.

Hernandez likely was unaware that the bank was on the ground floor of a building that houses the FBI’s Ventura Resident Agency.

Law enforcement was quickly notified and Hernandez gave chase for a short distance before being taken into custody, according to federal authorities.

Hernandez, who officials have dubbed the “Hypnotist Bandit” because of his lingering stare at bank tellers, reportedly is tied to bank robberies in South El Monte, Temple City, Pasadena and Manhattan Beach.

The L.A. resident was charged Tuesday with the latest robbery while investigators continue to probe the other heists.

(©2014 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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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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