Man charged with a string of bank robberies in LA area

Sep 13, 2015 1:35 PM by News Staff

SAN MARINO, Calif. (AP) - The FBI says a 37-year-old man has been charged in connection with a series of bank robberies in Southern California.

David Bowdich of the FBI says Joseph Adel Noriega, 37, of Rancho Cucamonga, was arrested by the San Marino Police Department on Thursday following a bank robbery in South Pasadena.

The FBI says Noriega is believed to be the serial bank robber known to law enforcement as the Bluto Bandit because the fake black beard the suspect wore during robberies resembled the Bluto character in Popeye cartoons.

The agency says that since June, the Bluto Bandit was linked to more than a dozen bank robberies, bank robbery attempts and bank casings in the counties of Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino and Orange. The FBI says the first robbery took place on June 10 and the most recent robbery happened on Aug. 12.

Noriega was charged with bank robbery Friday in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


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