FBI seeks armed bank robbery suspect

Adam Lee, center, special agent in charge of the FBI's Richmond Division, talks about a suspect believed responsible for a chain of robberies in the region during a Thursday news conference on the steps of the Winchester Police Department. He is flanked by Frederick County Sheriff Lenny Millholland, left, and Winchester Police Chief Kevin Sanzenbacher. Rachel Mahoney/Daily

Adam Lee, center, special agent in charge of the FBI's Richmond Division, talks about a suspect believed responsible for a chain of robberies in the region during a Thursday news conference on the steps of the Winchester Police Department. He is flanked by Frederick County Sheriff Lenny Millholland, left, and Winchester Police Chief Kevin Sanzenbacher. Rachel Mahoney/Daily

WINCHESTER – The FBI is searching for a suspect believed to have robbed area banks on nine different occasions since March 2015.

The suspect, described as a white male of medium build with brown hair and a light complexion, would be from 5 feet 1 inch to 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighing 140 to 200 pounds. The FBI believes him to be 30 to 50 years old and considers him armed and dangerous.

Adam Lee, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Richmond division, announced at a Thursday news conference that the suspect has discharged a weapon in order to get away from at least one robbery, but Lee said he would not go into further detail. The suspect has displayed a sawed-off shotgun, a semi-automatic black handgun and a silver handgun during the robberies.

“A lot of the bank robberies we see are obviously folks suffering from addiction, or they’re desperate and you can tell sometimes their heart’s not in it,” he said. “That is not the case with this individual, he’s (a) very brazen individual intent on intimidating the personnel into complying with his demands.”

As stated in a news release, the FBI believes the suspect is responsible for nine bank robberies that have occurred in Winchester, Brunswick, Maryland, and the West Virginia towns of Charles Town, Inwood and Martinsburg. The first robbery occurred on March 19, 2015, at the Winchester BB&T on South Pleasant Valley Road near Apple Blossom Mall – which he visited again on Aug. 7, 2015 – and the latest robbery was on Jan. 7 at an MVB in Martinsburg.

Neil Mathison, FBI supervisor for the Winchester area, said the bureau isn’t aware of any incidents since Jan. 7 that are connected to the suspect.

“This (suspect) seems to be very cool and calculated in what he does,” he said. “He’s thought this through to try and minimize his exposure.”

Mathison also said that once the suspect sees the information released on him, he may change his behavior.

The FBI believes two vehicles are connected with the suspect: “a dark blue, older model Pontiac and a late 1990s-early 2000s silver, four-door Ford F150 pickup truck.”

Without giving a specific figure, Lee said the suspect has robbed hundreds of thousands of dollars thus far.

The FBI is offering up to $15,000 as a reward for information that leads to the subject’s capture. The Winchester/Frederick/Clarke County Crime Solvers group is offering an additional $1,000 reward for such information.

A wanted poster with full descriptions of the suspect can be viewed at http://tinyurl.com/z9elgn6. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Richmond FBI field office at 804-261-1044 or online at https://tips.fbi.gov.

Contact staff writer Rachel Mahoney at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or rmahoney@nvdaily.com

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