Authorities offered a $100,000 reward on Tuesday for the so-called "AK-47 Bandit," who carried an assault rifle in a string of bank robberies across the U.S. West, in one case opening fire and seriously wounding a police officer.
The suspect, who disguises himself with a black ski mask and gloves and sometimes wears body armor or a vest emblazoned with the word "Sheriff," has not been identified but should be considered armed and dangerous, the FBI said in a written statement announcing the reward.
"Investigators know that the suspect is proficient with an assault weapon and will not hesitate before shooting someone in order to avoid capture," the FBI said. "In addition, the suspect has demonstrated the ability and willingness to travel interstate to commit crimes. What investigators do not know is who the suspect is and where he will strike next."
The armed gunman has been identified only as a white male with blue eyes between the ages of 25 and 40 with a large build. He has been linked to a dark gray Nissan Maxima and reddish-orange Jeep Liberty or Patriot sport-utility-vehicle.
During the robberies he has carried an AK-47 assault-style rifle with a drum magazine, prompting authorities to nickname him the "AK-47 Bandit."
According to the FBI, the suspect robbed a California Bank and Trust branch in Chino, California, in February, firing on a police officer who confronted him as he fled. The officer sustained serious injuries.
In March, the same man is believed to have robbed a Bank of the West in Vacaville, California, and attempted a robbery at the Tri Counties Bank in Sacramento.
He has also been linked to bank robberies in Washington state in July, in Idaho (the East Idaho Credit Union in Rexburg, Idaho on November 7, 2012) and in Nebraska last month, the FBI said.
Authorities say the $100,000 reward was being offered by the FBI and other entities in exchange for information leading to the suspect's arrest and conviction.