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Bank video surveillance showed pictures looking a lot like Bulger. And then there seemed possible confirmation based on the huge amounts of cash found at the Whitey Bulger home in Santa Monica. But with the mob man now behind bars, and the Geezer Bandit striking yet another California bank, the question's answered: Bulger and the bank bandit are not one and the same. The bandit's still on the run -- but maybe not for long. The thief gained something he didn't want and left something important behind.
It's the first time the serial robber's struck a financial institution since one of the FBI's most wanted was taken into custody. This time the bank robbery went down in Northern California. Most of the 16 robberies have been in So Cal including the last successful heist surrounding Whitey Bulger's arrest. This time the FBI hopes the Bank of America robbery in San Luis Obispo -- on December 2, 2011 -- will lead to the Geezer Bandit finally being arrested. The bandit himself may be responsible for the take-down. Well, at least partially responsible. Bank officials or employees helped. But the robber certainly didn't help himself.
After nearly 2.5 years of serial Geezer Bandit robberies, a bank was able to get a dye pack stuffed in with that stolen cash -- and that crucial pack loaded next to the money did successfully explode shortly after the bank robber's escape from a Bank of America in San Luis Obispo. The red dye could make things a little difficult for the thief. A photo shows the dye pack exploded on the Geezer bandit's face and torso roughly 30 yards after exiting the B of A. Dye burns and stains. But more difficult than what the robber gained -- in a red color that's going to be virtually impossible to remove from money or skin -- is what the thief reportedly lost.
This time the bank robber left behind a day planner before reportedly taking off in a white, Series 5 BMW car. The thin dye pack that was buried in cash exploded while still on-scene, the unexpected timing apparently catching the bandit off-guard. He dropped what could turn out to be a very vital piece of evidence to mark his downfall. Federal authorities aren't talking about what's in that planner, but the hope is that fingerprints, telephone numbers -- or other info related to finding the day planner -- just might lead cops or the FBI back to the wanted man now associated with a $20,000 reward. But there's more of interest.
In fact the Geezer Bandit may have had his identity helped with that little nickname provided by authorities: It's now considered a possibility that the bandit isn't so old, or within the 60-70 age range originally estimated. The robber may instead be a much younger, or even young guy. B of A witnesses cite rubber gloves the bandit was wearing to hide his hands. And that facial look just may be enhanced by a well-designed mask.
While age for the thief is still unknown, something says "day planner" reeks of the 45-50 range.
He's been suspected to be Whitey Bulger, and to be old -- one of which proven not true and the other suspected as not true. The only other bizarre twist could be if the Geezer Bandit turns out to be a woman.