Bank robber nicknamed ‘Green Gaiter Bandit’ charged, FBI says

A man nicknamed the ‘Green Gaiter Bandit’, who federal authorities say robbed multiple banks in Orange and Los Angeles counties while wearing distinctive face masks, has been charged in the holdups, announcing the FBI.

Christopher Paul Daniels, 55, of Torrance, was charged Monday with bank robbery, according to the FBI, which says Daniels robbed or attempted to rob 12 banks in the first two months of 2022.

Federal investigators say Daniels confessed to the crimes after he waived his Miranda rights after his arrest on Sunday.

In the dozen robberies and attempted robberies, Daniels wore a gaiter mask over the lower part of his face, but left his nose and eyes exposed while he committed the robberies, authorities said.

This allowed CCTV to capture his large size, gray hair and what investigators described as Daniels’ “distinct nose”, according to charging documents naming him as the prime suspect in their investigation.

Bank tellers described the thief, who demanded they hand over all their “loose notes”, as having light blue or green eyes. Daniels has blue eyes and similar facial features to the person seen on CCTV at the banks, federal investigators said.

Beginning Jan. 7, Daniels robbed a bank in Mission Viejo, where he fled with $1,400, according to court records. Later that month, he attempted to rob a bank in Placentia, but the bank teller pressed the silent alarm after the robber said, “It’s a robbery; give me all your loose fifties and hundreds right now.

Indifferent to the failed attempt, Daniels robbed a bank in Fullerton about 30 minutes later, prosecutors said. He got off with $260, according to federal investigators.

The “Green Gaiter Bandit” would go on to rob several other banks in Orange and Los Angeles counties, the FBI said. It earned its name after investigators revealed the bank robber wore the same face gaiters during multiple burglaries. The thief was also wearing a bulky, dark work jacket, according to the charging documents.

Over a five-day period in February, Daniels robbed three banks, authorities said, and during them he wore a distinctive neon yellow or green and black camouflage gaiter.

Authorities focused on Daniels during their investigation and linked his white Toyota Yaris to the scene of multiple bank robberies. An investigator who found Daniels’ car parked near his home could see a green camouflage gaiter in the backseat, as well as a tie-dye sweatshirt worn by the bandit during a robbery in Downey .

After his arrest Sunday, Daniels described to investigators the clothes he wore during the robberies and where he stashed the stolen cash, which authorities found during a search of his home and car. He was charged Monday in federal court in Santa Ana and is being held without bond after a request was denied.

Local police have responded to 19 bank robberies or attempted robberies in Orange and Los Angeles counties since October. All were committed by someone described as a white man, but Daniels has only been linked to 12 of the robberies, according to the FBI. At least one additional suspect is wanted in the other burglaries.

Los Angeles Times

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