Jamar Geeter

Jamar Geeter

'Jumper Bandits' linked to bank robbery

The swift and agile bandits who have been hitting bank branches on the Peninsula and in San Francisco since at least April may have struck again last week, according to the FBI.

Three robbers whom authorities are calling the “High Jumper Bandits” have now apparently robbed five area banks to date, including four in The City and one in Millbrae.

The gun-toting bandits are known to terrorize employees and customers in the middle of the day before leaping over counters to raid the cash registers.

“The suspects should be considered armed and dangerous,” the FBI said in a statement Monday.

The bandits' mode of operation is similar to a heist that occurred in San Francisco last week. On Thursday, police said, robbers in their mid- to late-20s stormed into the First Republic branch at Geary Boulevard and 24th Avenue and ordered employees to the ground before helping themselves to cash. One bank employee was struck in the head during the heist, police said.

The crew also was connected to at least four other bank heists since April, including three in The City and another in Millbrae.

On June 6, a Bank of America branch at 1007 Taraval St. was robbed.

Three days earlier, the Higher Jumper Bandits are believed to have committed two separate heists in one day — at the Cathay Bank at 1095 El Camino Real in Millbrae and also the Metropolitan Bank on Powell Street in San Francisco's Chinatown.

On April 19, the FBI said, the crew is believed to have robbed a Wells Fargo Bank at 725 Irving St. in the Inner Sunset district.

In that heist, the men stormed in at 3 p.m., when there were more than a dozen customers and workers, and left with an undisclosed amount of cash in just under five minutes. Two of the men jumped over the counter to nab cash, according to the report.

The suspects have been described as three black men between ages 20 and 35 with slim to medium builds. During heists they wore thick jackets, gloves and other clothing to mask their faces. They stood between 5-foot-8 and 6-foot-2, the FBI has reported.

2013 incidents

Aug. 1: First Republic Bank, 6001 Geary Blvd., S.F.

June 6: Bank of America, 1007 Taraval St., S.F.

June 3: Cathay Bank, 1095 El Camino Real, Millbrae

June 3: Metropolitan Bank, 1351 Powell St., S.F.

April 19: Wells Fargo Bank, 725 Irving St., S.F.

Bay Area NewsCrimeCrime & CourtsFBIMillbraePeter Lee

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