A man suspected in multiple bank robberies in Los Angeles County, including Venice, Marina del Rey and Santa Monica, has been indicted by a federal grand jury, authorities said.
William Joseph Allen, 32, of Los Angeles, was charged in an eight-count indictment filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles May 1 for his alleged involvement in a series of bank robberies linked to the “Explosives Threat Bandit,” FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said.
Detectives with the Santa Monica Police Department identified Allen as a suspect in the “Explosives Threat Bandit” robberies after developing forensic evidence collected at a bank robbery on March 29, according to the FBI. After investigators obtained an arrest warrant, Allen was apprehended April 17 in downtown Los Angeles by officers with the Los Angeles Police Department’s Central division, Eimiller said.
According to the indictment, Allen is suspected in eight bank robberies, including one at a Chase Bank in Venice Jan. 17, a Comerica Bank in Marina del Rey March 23 and a Wells Fargo in Santa Monica March 29.
The suspect was dubbed the Explosives Threat Bandit after he would leave behind a device made up of electronic components and various wiring, Eimiller said. The suspect allegedly demanded cash and advised the teller that someone outside the bank would detonate the device, indicating explosives were contained within the device.
During some of the robberies, the suspect would allegedly indicate or state that he had a bomb, threats that required various bomb squads in Los Angeles County to respond to the banks in order to render the situation safe, according to the FBI.
Allen is being held in federal custody awaiting trial.