PHOENIX - A Phoenix man is in custody for allegedly robbing, or trying to rob, four banks around Arizona since last summer.
FBI officials announced Thursday that 48-year-old Alan Jeffery Farber is being held on suspicion of armed robbery, attempted armed robbery and use of a firearm in a crime of violence.
Officials said Farber is suspected of being the so-called "Dynomite Bandit" and court records indicate him as the "Thou Shalt Not Steal Bandit," too. He was arrested Wednesday.
In court records, agents said Farber would case banks that he was targeting. He would later cut a hole through the roof of the bank and drop a fake bomb inside. In the morning, the bank would get a phone call from Farber with instructions to throw the money over a fence where Farber was waiting nearby.
Agents were able to identify Farber with a fingerprint left on an ATV they believe he was using as his getaway vehicle in a January 2nd heist.
The ATV's owner, Bill Standefer, told ABC15 that he rented the ATV out about a year ago, but the renter never returned it.
"I called [the renter's] cell phone, he didn't answer," Standefer said. "I checked the address on his ID, no such thing."
Standefer said he never believed he would hear back from police about his missing ATV until officers showed up at his door last month.
Investigators believe Farber accidentally got the ATV stuck in a wash near a golf course and left it there moments after leaving a fake bomb at a nearby bank.
During the investigation, FBI agents collected evidence while they were tracking Farber. Inside two garbage bags that Farber dumped, agents found rubber gloves, pipes, tubes, and 2-way radios, all items found in connection with the fake bombs planted inside banks investigators said he targeted. They also found a list of supplies and banks in the area.
Sources tell ABC15, Farber is ex-military and a former police officer in Los Angeles, California. He worked for the LAPD from 1994-2000 as an undercover cop responsible for tracking Los Angeles' most violent wanted criminals.
He later moved to the Valley and started his own business. Court records indicate he filed for bankruptcy last year.
FBI officials say the "Dynomite Bandit" was at a Chase Bank in Peoria on July 3, at a Wells Fargo Bank in Anthem on Dec. 21, another Chase branch in Scottsdale on Jan. 2 and a Bank of the West branch in Black Canyon City on Jan. 4.
The FBI gave the robber the misspelled "Dynomite" nickname because the explosive devices he used were fake.
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