Jump to content
Forum | Bia2.com
Sign in to follow this  
Siamak

No Comment !

Recommended Posts

Authorities announced the arrest of Farhad Farhbaksh yesterday, saying he's the prolific robber who stole nearly $300,000 in 43 holdups since September 2003. Farhbaksh, 40, was arrested Monday while trying to cross the border in San Ysidro with a counterfeit ID card. He is an Iranian national who first entered the United States on a student visa in 1978, authorities said. They initially identified him as Ernest Lozano, but it turned out that was the assumed name of a deceased U.S. resident. He was then identified as Farzad Naroii .

 

farhad.jpg

 

 

Police snag prolific bank robbery suspect

 

The "FedEx bandit" eluded and frustrated authorities for two years, robbing more than 40 banks in Southern California before finally making the big blunder.

 

He left a cell phone behind after robbing a California Bank & Trust near Del Mar in June.

 

Investigators went through the phone's directory and eventually figured out it belonged to the man they were searching for.

 

"Sometimes it just takes one mistake," said San Diego police Lt. Mike Angus. "That was his big one."

 

Authorities announced the arrest of Farhad Farhbaksh yesterday, saying he's the prolific robber who stole nearly $300,000 in 43 holdups since September 2003.

 

Farhbaksh, 40, was arrested Monday while trying to cross the border in San Ysidro with a counterfeit ID card. He is an Iranian national who first entered the United States on a student visa in 1978, authorities said.

 

They initially identified him as Ernest Lozano, but it turned out that was the assumed name of a deceased U.S. resident. He was then identified as Farzad Naroii.

 

Lauren Mack, a spokeswoman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said investigators – aided by the cell phone – determined his real name was Farhad Farhbaksh.

 

"We were able to track hundreds of international phone calls that gave us a lot of information about him," Mack said.

 

 

 

 

Authorities learned, for example, that Farhbaksh had a girlfriend in Tijuana.

 

"And we believe he was smuggling the money back into Mexico, and may have been laundering it," Mack said.

 

Angus said the bank robbery spree began in September 2003 and included robberies in Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties, with more than 30 of the crimes occurring in San Diego County.

 

"He was dubbed the FedEx bandit because in several of the robberies he walked in there with an envelope, a FedEx envelope, that he used as a prop and to carry the money out at times," Angus said.

 

Nicknames are common among bank robbers, who almost always get the monikers from the FBI. Names like the Itty Bitty Bandit and Gentleman Bandit grab the public's attention and serve as convenient shorthand for tracking cases.

 

The FedEx robber showed bank tellers a gun in his waistband or jacket pocket, and sometimes threatened to shoot them or said he had a bomb.

 

Angus said the FedEx bandit was responsible for one of the longest bank robbery sprees in the region in recent years, and investigators had few clues until the cell phone slipup.

 

"There was very limited physical evidence, very limited witness information, making this individual very difficult to find," Angus said.

 

By July 6, when Farhbaksh drove up to a border check point at San Ysidro, his name and face were connected to every computer screen at the crossing, Mack said.

 

Still, he managed to avoid capture. A curious inspector tapped on the gas tank and suspected the man was hiding something in the tank. He asked him to pull over for a secondary inspection.

 

"He took off, and once again got away," Mack said.

 

At a news conference outside San Diego police headquarters yesterday, officials described how Farhbaksh was finally caught.

 

Monday afternoon, the man was trying to enter the United States through the pedestrian crossing at San Ysidro. He caught the attention of officers because he was sweating profusely and looked nervous, said Bruce Ward, acting port director with U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

 

Immigration and customs enforcement agents pulled him aside when he presented a phony ID card. They checked his fingerprints and discovered he had warrants out for his arrest.

 

"It was a very good catch," Ward said. "Mr. (Farhbaksh) could have very well just walked into the United States if not for these alert officers."

 

FBI Special Agent Darrell Foxworth said Farhbaksh confessed to the robberies during a five-hour interview with federal and local investigators.

 

He told investigators he was in the country to avoid the military draft in Iran.

 

The last robbery occurred Aug. 30. No one was hurt in the crimes.

 

Police first alerted immigration officials because they suspected the bank robber, who at times spoke Spanish during the robberies, was traveling back and forth to Mexico, Angus said. Witnesses had described him as being either Latino or of Middle Eastern descent.

 

Immigration officials were able to determine the bank robber was using a stolen identity, that of a baby born in San Antonio in 1967 who died shortly after birth, Mack said.

 

Farhbaksh is being held in the County Jail on suspicion of robbery, with bail set at $1 million. He's expected to be arraigned this morning. Authorities said he may face additional federal charges of identity theft and money laundering.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×