As the number of Denver area robberies continue to capture the imagination of TV news directors -- and the people who design stations' over-the-shoulder graphics -- the imaginations of the police trying to hunt down the robbers, and name them, are also reeling.
We've had the "H1N1 Bandit," because he used a medical mask during his first robberies, and the "Tom Thumb Bandit," because video footage showed the robber had his thumb in a cast. And don't forget the "Band-Aid Bandit," who -- you guessed it -- had a bandage on his nose. Those are just in 2010, and they've all been nabbed.
Not so the "Limping Latex Bandit," who is believed to be responsible for seven metro area robberies, including one yesterday on the 15400 block of E. Hampden Avenue in Aurora. The Rocky Mountain Safe Streets Task Force gave him the moniker for his first robbery, during which he walked with a limp and wore latex gloves.
"Latex" and "limp" in the same sentence: Will this robber's legacy fall short? No telling -- but police suspect he'll be easy to spot.
After robbing the bank yesterday, witnesses saw the man police to believe the "Limping Latex Bandit" get into a small, four-door silver SUV, similar to a Toyota Rav4.
According to the Aurora Police Department press release, "At least one witness observed a dye pack explode inside the suspect's getaway vehicle. Investigators believe the interior of the vehicle and the suspect's clothing, which included a ski mask and a coat, were covered in red dye as a result of the explosion."
First "limp," then "latex," and now a premature explosion?
The next time this guy tries to stand up, he might just get handcuffed. And with a possible twenty-year count for each robbery, he might just never get his release.
Look below to see a release of a different kind.
"Limping Latex Bandit" Suspected in Latest Bank Robbery
Aurora, Colo. -- On April 7, 2010, shortly before 2 p.m., a bank robbery occurred at Colorado State Bank located in the 15400 block of E. Hampden Avenue. Investigators for the FBI Rocky Mountain Safe Streets Task Force have identified the suspect as the "Limping Latex Bandit."
After committing the bank robbery, the suspect was observed getting into a vehicle described as a small, 4-door, silver SUV similar to a Toyota Rav4 with a hard-cover spare tire mounted on the rear. Prior to driving away from the bank, at least one witness observed a dye pack explode inside the suspect's getaway vehicle. Investigators believe the interior of the vehicle and the suspect's clothing, which included a ski mask and a coat, were covered in red dye as a result of the explosion. This vehicle was last seen near the intersection of E. Dartmouth Avenue and S. Chambers Road in Aurora.
The robbery suspect is described as a white male, approximately 40 to 50 years old, about 5 feet 4 inches to 5 feet 6 inches tall, and between 170 and 200 pounds. This robber has been dubbed the "Limping Latex Bandit" because during his first robbery last November, he had a limp and wore latex gloves.
Today's robbery is believed to be the seventh bank robbery carried out by the "Limping Latex Bandit" in the Denver Metro area.
Anyone with information about this bank robbery is asked to contact the FBI Rocky Mountain Safe Streets Task Force at 303-629-7171, or the Aurora Police Department at (303) 627-3100.
You can remain anonymous and earn up to $2,000 by calling Crime Stoppers at 720-913-STOP (7867). You can also send an anonymous text message to Crime Stoppers at 274637 (CRIMES), add title DMCS followed by your information.
Update, 4:32 p.m.: As noted above, Merle Allison, 66, is in custody -- and the Douglas County Sheriff's Office believes him to be the Limping Latex Bandit. Here are the details:
Douglas County Deputies catch bank robbery suspect that FBI has identified as the "Limping Latex" Bandit.
On 04/08/2010, at around 12:08pm, deputies responded to a bank robbery that had just occurred at the First Bank, 11961 Lioness Way, Parker, CO. Bank employees stated that the suspect, described as a white male in a blue windbreaker type jacket, had verbally demanded money then fled the scene. As deputies responded to the area, they were flagged down by a witness who stated he had seen the suspect get into a Silver SUV, possibly at RAV 4, and drive out of the parking lot and head east on Lincoln Ave. As deputies arrived at the bank, they spotted a grocery type bag in the parking lot, that contained the money and a die pack that had gone off. The amount of money is not being released at this time.
The information as well as the description was relayed to deputies in the area and the vehicle was spotted driving eastbound on Lincoln Ave around Chambers Ave. A traffic stop was initiated and the driver, who matched the description of the suspect, was detained and taken into custody.
Agents from the FBI Rocky Mountain Safe Streets Task Force responded to interview the suspect. The suspect has been identified as Merle Allison, dob-12/29/1943, from Centennial. According the FBI, they have information to believe that Allison was known as the "Limping Latex Bandit". They believe that Allison may be linked to as many as eight bank robberies in the metro area. Allison is now in the custody of the Safe Streets Task Force.
This is still an open investigation and any more questions can be directed to the FBI Media Coordinator, Dave Joly.