After robbing seven banks in Maryland and Virginia, the FBI is offering a $30,000 reward for information on a pair of men suspected in the robberies. The most recent robbery came last Wednesday when the two men robbed a BB&T Bank in Vienna, VA. Then, 40 minutes later, the pair hit a Wells Fargo Bank in Sterling.
During the Sterling robbery, one of the men put a gun to a customer’s head and demanded that everyone in the bank “get down” and then ordered a bank teller to get the money. The two-man team has been dubbed the “Black Hat Bandits,” due to the disguises they wear. As NBC Channel 4 News reported, they usually wear black hats with either fake beards or ski masks to hide their faces, sunglasses and black winter coats. They are also armed with handguns.
The FBI said the pair has become increasingly violent during their robberies by holding people at gunpoint or jumping counters to get to gain access to bank vaults. The agency considers the robbers armed and dangerous and, based on their tactics, the FBI believe they either have police or military training.
As the Washington Post reported, the first bank robbed was on January 2 at a Bank of America in McLean. Of the seven robberies, five occurred in Northern Virginia and the other two in Maryland.
The FBI cautions bank workers and customers to not interfere during a robbery and to do as told in order to not get hurt. The FBI wants any information they can get on the two men responsible for the robberies. They are taking calls at both the Washington and Baltimore field offices or a tip can be submitted online.
The “Black Hat Bandits'” robberies are among a string of recent thefts across the country. As the Inquisitr reported, 10 ounces of gold nuggets were stolen from the Wells Fargo Museum in San Francisco. The nuggets have more sentimental value than market value to the bank as they were discovered during the California gold rush. Other recent robberies have occurred in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Northern California, and Michigan.