The other day, I came upon a September 19, 2013 FBI press release with the intriguing title FBI Offers $2,500 Reward for Information Leading to the Arrest and Conviction of the Cotton Ball Bandit. The Cotton Ball Bandit? Really? Like, what the hell?? Having recently written about the FBI's Regular Joe Bandit, I was truly intrigued by what a bank robber had to do to earn the not-so frightening moniker of the Cotton Ball Bandit. The way I figured it, either the guy was literally stealing cotton balls or he looked something like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man of Ghostbusters fame.
7 Bank Robberies
According to the FBI, Since December 2012, the Cotton Ball Bandit has allegedly robbed seven banks in the North Bay area of San Francisco, CA. The FBI press release states that:
The suspect's latest bank robbery was on September 4, 2013, in San Rafael, California. The serial bank bandit enters a bank, approaches a teller, and presents a demand note. The suspect wears a brown, knit winter beanie with earflaps and a cotton ball on the top.
The FBI and local law enforcement agencies believe the Cotton Ball Bandit is connected to the following bank robberies:
September 4, 2013: Redwood Credit Union, 209 Third Street in San Rafael, California
August 21, 2013: Wells Fargo Bank, 427 Corte Madera Town Center in Corte Madera, California
August 2, 2013: Citibank, 101 Tiburon Boulevard in Mill Valley, California
July 17, 2013: Chase Bank, 437 Corte Madera Town Center in Corte Madera, California
January 22, 2013: Union Bank, 800 Redwood Highway in Mill Valley, California
January 9, 2013: Union Bank, 575 Sir Francis Drake Boulevard in Greenbrae, California
December 12, 2012: Chase Bank, 401 Sir Francis Drake Boulevard in Greenbrae, Calif.
Witnessed [sic] described the Cotton Ball Bandit, photos of whom are below, as follows . . .
. . .
Remarks: The suspect was also described as having scruffy facial hair
APB: Be On The Lookout For Cotton Balls?
Okay, I'm not so sure that labeling a desperate bank robber as the Cotton Ball Bandit is going to instill the desired fear and caution in the public, but I sort of had the same response to the FBI's Regular Joe Bandit bulletin. Regardless, this isn't a laughing matter and, unquestionably, the victims of these robberies cannot find anything amusing with the crime.
I went online and looked at the wanted poster for this bank robber, expecting to see surveillance images of this desperado wearing a cap with an attached cotton ball somewhere between the size of a ping pong ball and a baseball. Ummm . . . y'all wanna take a gander at the four photos released by the FBI and let me know if I'm sort of missing something here? For starters, where the hell is the all-important cotton ball? Maybe we should call him the Scruffy Facial Hair Robber With The Nerdy Cap?
See the FBI's Cotton Ball Robber Wanted Poster
Watch the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man Attack New York City: