The Mesh Mask Bandit Has Robbed 17 Banks, is Wanted by the FBI, and Loves Nylon Tracksuits

The man the FBI has dubbed the "Mesh Mask Bandit" struck first on New Year's Eve, robbing a Northwest Highway BBVA Compass at gunpoint. Since then, he's robbed an average of about one bank a week, at first sticking to Dallas proper but eventually working his way out to Garland, Carrollton, Addison, and other suburbs.

Each time, his M.O. is the same. He walks into the bank with gun drawn, demands money and leaves. He always wears a tight-fitting mesh mask (hence the nickname), which is typically complemented by some sort of windbreaker and baseball cap. With his visit to a Capitol One Bank in Arlington on April 29, he extended his streak of successful bank heists to an impressive 17.

The FBI has struggled to get a solid description. They've narrowed it down to "a Hispanic male with a dark complexion, 37 to 43 years old, 5'7" to 6'2" tall, with a medium to large build; he has dark hair and dark eyes and may wear a mustache and goatee." That's really not very narrow, so they released the above sketch, based on a witness who spotted the robber outside the bank as he donned his mask.

As you can tell, the suspect cuts a much more dashing figure here than in the previous effort, in which he looks homeless.

Officials also have a picture of the dark blue, decade-old Dodge Caravan you'd really think would have been replaced by now but which was driven to his most recent robbery. They also think he might have gotten red dye and chemical burns during one of the robberies.

The sketch and a picture of the Caravan have been plastered on digital billboards throughout Dallas-Fort Worth. But the real break in the case will undoubtedly come from the Mesh Mask Bandit's unusual fondness for nylon tracksuits and ugly baseball caps. See for yourself:

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Eric Nicholson
Contact: Eric Nicholson