FBI PRESS RELEASE

LOS ANGELES FIELD OFFICE

 

 

FBI C 11000 Wilshire Blvd. C Los Angeles, CA 90024 C 310-996-3343,4402 C losangeles.fbi.gov

 

For Immediate Release

 

DATE:  June 13, 2024

 

FBI ARRESTS MAN BELIEVED TO BE PROLIFIC “GOOFY HAT BANDIT,” BANK ROBBER SUSPECTED IN THIRTY-NINE BANK ROBBERIES IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA SINCE OCTOBER 2005

A man believed to be a bank robber responsible for robbing almost forty banks in Los Angeles, Orange and Riverside Counties was apprehended by FBI Agents this morning in a department store parking lot near his residence in Ladera Heights, announced J. Stephen Tidwell, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI in Los Angeles.   William Vance Turner, 56, is being held in connection with the Goofy Hat Bandit robberies and is in federal custody.   As recently as last week, a man matching the description of the Goofy Hat Bandit robbed a Citibank in Pasadena on June 5th.   The Goofy Hat Bandit was known for presenting a note to the victim teller during his robberies, asking for 100s, 50s and 20s.  In some cases, the Goofy Hat Bandit instructed the victim teller to go to the back of the bank.  The bandit earned his moniker by consistently wearing hats during his robberies, including various colors of fishing hats, fedoras and baseball caps.

Turner had previously served time in federal prison for bank robbery and was on probation when taken into custody today.   During the investigation, an agent with the United States Department of Probation recognized and identified Turner as the Goofy Hat Bandit, a development that allowed agents and detectives to focus their search for the bandit.   Turner served approximately nine years after being convicted for bank robbery in the early nineties.  At that time, Turner was known as the “Pershing Square Bandit,” after robbing as many as thirty banks in downtown and other parts of Los Angeles.    

            The arrest of Turner is the result of the joint investigative efforts of law enforcement agencies all over Los Angeles, Orange and Riverside Counties.  The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, as well as the U.S. Department of Probation, provided considerable assistance to this investigation. 

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Contact:  FBI Press Office: 

Laura Eimiller:  310 996-3343,

Lourdes Arocho:  310 996-4402 (Spanish speaker)