A smartly dressed man, dubbed the "Love Bandit" by police, has held up five Washington financial institutions in the last two weeks after announcing to tellers in a variety of ways: "Hi, Love, this is a stickup."
Yesterday the Love Bandit struck again, walking away with a "small amount" of cash from the Riggs National Bank branch at 1913 Massachusetts Ave. NW.
The man, sometimes claiming to be carrying a gun but so far never showing one, walked up to Riggs teller Estelle L. Hughes and handed her a blank bank deposit slip and a note saying, "Hi Love, this is a stickup. I want you to give me all your money. Please hurry. Thank you."
Hughes looked at the bandit and he politely again ordered her to "Hurry up." She placed the cash in a brown paper bag and the man said, "Gimmie the bag," before she had a chance to put more money in it. The bandit leaned over the counter and reclaimed the bank deposit slip and the note and fled, police said.
In some instances, the man has called the teller, "Love" two or three times in the holdup note, according to D.C. Police Sgt. Edward Dory. In one note last week, the Love Bandit wrote, "Look Love, I don't want to hurt you. I have a gun so please do what I tell you."
The Love Bandit has always been well dressed, favoring three-piece suits with an open-neck shirt and a black fedora. Sometimes he wears sunglasses. His demeanor is cool, reserved.
The bandit's first effort occurred Aug. 9, police said, at the McLachlen National Bank at 11th and G streets NW. But when a stunned teller walked away from the Love Bandit, police said he grabbed his note and fled without any cash.
Within an hour, the Love Bandit was back at work, according to police, holding up the main Perpetual Federal Savings and Loan Association office at 11th and E streets NW.
Dory said the Love Bandit held up three other savings and loans -- First Federal, Northwestern Federal and Interstate Federal -- respectively on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday of last week.
Police have not disclosed how much the Love Bandit has stolen, but said the overall amount is not large.
The D.C. Bankers Association has offered a $2,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the Love Bandit and people with information about him are asked to call the robbery squad at 727-4400. See BANDIT, C3, Col. 5