ANAHEIM ( — Authorities say a 47-year-old man arrested during a traffic stop near Palm Springs may be the suspected “Desperate Bandit.”

Ben Guitron, an administrative officer at the Indio Police Department, says Michael Downing of Chino Hills was taken into custody on Interstate 10 on Friday morning.

Police say Downing was driving a white Toyota Corolla allegedly used in a bank robbery that had occurred 15 minutes prior to his arrest at a First Bank branch on Avenue 42.

Laura Eimiller of FBI Press Relations confirmed to CBS2 that they believe the suspect is the “Desperate Bandit.”

The moniker was given to the suspected serial bank robber as he described his financial situation as “desperate” in a number of typed notes handed to bank tellers, according to police.

The so-called “Desperate Bandit” is accused in a number of robberies in Riverside, Orange and San Bernardino counties.

Guitron said Downing was being booked into the sheriff’s Indio Jail on suspicion of robbery.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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