By Serene Branson

CHINO (CBS) — Officials are on the hunt for a bank robber in Chino recently dubbed the “AK-47 bandit.”

The suspect, who authorities describe as “armed and dangerous,” has been linked to at least three robberies. An alert has been issued in states across the West.

In one of those robberies, he is alleged to have shot a Chino police officer. They believe the suspect is also responsible for at least two bank robberies in Northern California — Sacramento on March 9, and Vacaville on March 12.

The FBI has announced a $20,000 reward for information leading to the suspect’s arrest. FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said that while it is not unusual for people to use weapons in the commission of a bank robbery, “the use of an assault rifle is rare.”

She added, “He could strike anywhere next.”

The “AK-47 bandit” entered a California Bank & Trust branch at 5455 Riverside Drive on February 29 wearing a dark ski mask and bulletproof vest.

The bandit is described as a white male, between 35-40 years of age, 6 feet 2 inches tall and about 200 pounds. Officials believe he has blue eyes.

Authorities said he fled the Chino robbery in a four-door Nissan Maxima with tinted windows and Arizona plates. Officials also believe the car is equipped with a chrome package.

Prior to the robbery, officials said the suspect phoned in a fake bomb scare as a diversionary tactic.


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