Have the Hopping Hooded Bandits struck again? Sure as hell looks like it...

Welcome to the New Depression, when local banks are being robbed at a rapid pace -- because, as Willie Sutton once said, that's where the money is.

Two banks were lightened of their loads on Monday. Yesterday, a US Bank branch at 10190 Colfax Avenue in Aurora got the stick-up treatment, too -- and the FBI believes the perpetrators may also have been responsible for a December 2 robbery at Bank of the West, 7995 East Hamden Avenue, and a December 9 job at TCF Bank, 15350 East 6th Avenue in Aurora.

Indeed, the ever-clever FBI Rocky Mountain Safe Streets Task Force has dubbed them the Hopping Hooded Bandits, because they hop over teller counters while armed. They may walk around the counter next time, in the hope of qualifying for a less goofy name.

Look below to see multiple photos of all three robberies, as well as the FBI's latest release on what seems to be developing into a flat-out crime spree.

More photos from the December 15 US Bank robbery:

Photos from the December 9 TCF Bank robbery:

Photos from the December 2 Bank of the West robbery:

Latest FBI release:

On Tuesday, December 15, 2009, at approximately 9:25 a.m.

A bank robbery occurred at US Bank, 10190 E. Colfax Ave., Aurora

The suspects were described as four black males, early 20's, wearing all dark clothing.

The suspects all wore masked and were armed with handguns, entered the bank, took money, and fled...

These four bank robbers have been dubbed the "Hopping Hooded Bandits" by the FBI Rocky Mountain Safe Streets Task Force for their brazen take over-style bank robbery of hopping over the teller counter while armed.

Two of the banks that have been robbed are offering an additional $5000.00 each for information provided to law enforcement to aid in the apprehension of these individuals.

Bank robbery is punishable by a twenty year prison term for each offense and increases if a dangerous weapon is used in the commission of the crime.

The FBI continues to provide financial institutions with the best practices for security to make them less vulnerable to robberies.

If anyone has any information on the bank robbery above, or any of the bank robbers described above, please call the FBI Rocky Mountain Safe Streets Task Force at 303-629-7171; or, you can remain anonymous and earn up to two thousand dollars ($2,000) by calling CRIMESTOPPERS at 720-913-STOP (7867).

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts