Bank robberies linked to serial bandit

The man who robbed a Columbia bank last month may be a serial bandit who’s responsible for at least eight similar crimes in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, according to police.

Investigators believe that in addition to the Union Community Bank robbery on April 4, the unknown bandit held up a Fulton Bank branch in Dillsburg on January 23 and attempted a heist at the Fulton Bank at 528 Greenfield Road in Lancaster on March 24, Columbia police said Friday.

Other robberies linked to the suspect have occurred since November 19 in the Lehigh Valley, Poconos and Berks County.

Police said he may be responsible for even more bank robberies in Delaware, Maryland and New York.

Investigators said he typically hands a note a demanding money to a teller, as he did in Columbia and Dillsburg, but displays no weapon. He also has used a pickup truck with stolen license plates for his getaways.

In the Columbia robbery, police said he fled in a silver or gray late model GMC Sierra or Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck with a Pennsylvania license plate that previously was reported stolen in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania.

In Dillsburg, the pickup was described as a silver GMC Sierra with an extended cab.

In Lancaster, police said he demanded money from a teller, but fled before getting any money.

“If somebody starts doing that they will usually keep doing it until they get caught because they got away with it the first time,” Sgt. Marc Tremblay with Columbia Borough Police said.

He added, “We are definitely working leads all together and it’s just a matter of time.”

Anyone with information on his identity may call Columbia police at 717-684-7735.

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