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South Bay man arrested in ‘Green Gaiter Bandit’ serial bank robberies; second suspect sought

A South Bay man has been arrested and charged federally with multiple bank robberies following an investigation by the FBI and multiple law enforcement agencies in Los Angeles and Orange counties, the FBI announced March 1, 2022.

Christopher Paul Daniels, 55, of Torrance, was arrested on Sunday in Palos Verdes Estates. Daniels made his initial court appearance on Monday after being charged in a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Santa Ana. Daniels was denied bond and was remanded to federal custody.

FBI agents and officers from multiple police departments responded to 19 bank robberies or attempted robberies in various cities in Orange and Los Angeles counties since October 2021, committed by a suspect described as a white male. The nickname, “Green Gaiter Bandit” was ascribed to the case to keep track of the numerous crimes in multiple cities. Daniels has been linked to at least 12 of the robberies committed during this time. At least one additional white male suspect is being sought for the remainder of the robberies.

Daniels wore a green camouflage gaiter covering part of his face during some of the robberies, according to an affidavit in support of the complaint, and was arrested while occupying a white Toyota Yaris, also seen during some of the robberies he allegedly committed. The complaint charges Daniels with bank robberies or attempted bank robberies in the following cities and alleges Daniels is suspected in at least eight others.

  • U.S. Bank in Mission Viejo on January 7;
  • Wells Fargo Bank in Placentia on January 21;
  • Chase Bank in Fullerton on January 21; and
  • Bank of the West in Fullerton on January 27.

According to the affidavit, there was an uptick in robberies between December 2021 and February 2022 by a suspect similarly described as the suspect in the above-mentioned robberies.

Agents and detectives are also investigating robberies or attempted robberies that occurred on February 22 and 23 in Santa Fe Springs, Downey, Whittier, Gardena, and Bellflower, all of which law enforcement believes Daniels committed.

Investigators also believe that seven additional robberies conducted within the past few months were separately committed by a similarly described bandit. Those robberies are under investigation.

The continuing investigation which led to Daniels’ arrest, as well as the continuing investigation to identify an additional suspect or suspects, is being conducted by multiple agencies, including the FBI; the Huntington Beach Police Department; the Costa Mesa Police Department; the Orange County Sheriff’s Department; the Gardena Police Department; the Placentia Police Department; the Fullerton Police Department; the Downey Police Department; the Whittier Police Department; the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department; the Los Angeles Police Department; the Torrance Police Department, and the Orange County Intelligence Assessment Center (OCIAC).

Assistant United States Attorney Ann Wolf of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California is prosecuting this case.

A criminal complaint contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

This article was released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.