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Bomb Scare Bank Robber May Have Hit Banks in Seal Beach and Garden Grove

Man who stole from a Chase Bank in Garden Grove this weekend could be the same man who robbed a Seal Beach U.S. Bank in April, according to officials.

The man who robbed a Garden Grove bank Saturday by claiming he had an explosive may have hit a Seal Beach bank earlier this year, authorities said.

A man entered Chase Bank at 12555 Valley View Avenue Saturday and showed an employee a device that appeared to be explosive, according to the Garden Grove Police Department.

The man then demanded money and forced the employee into the safe.  After obtaining an undisclosed amount of money, the man exited the bank via the north doors.

He is described as white male in his 40s with dark hair, a blue baseball cap, a beige long sleeve shirt, and jeans.

Bank surveillance captured the man’s image.

“We’re asking for the public’s health because somebody knows who he is,” said Sergeant Steve Bowles of the Seal Beach Police Department. “He’s identifiable.”

After the man left the Garden Grove bank, the employee was no longer was able to see the alleged bomb. The robber had threatened to leave it inside the bank.

The bank, along with surrounding businesses, was evacuated. Deputies from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department bomb squad responded and searched the bank.  No device was located.

According to officials, the man looks similar to a man who robbed a U.S. Bank April 6 at the 13900 Seal Beach in the Leisure World Shopping Center, and authorities think he may be the same man.

The man entered about the Seal Beach bank at about 3:40 p.m. brandished a handgun and placed what he alleged was a pipe bomb on a table inside the bank.

According to the Seal Beach Police Department, the man left the bank with an undisclosed amount of money and the alleged pipe bomb and ran through the parking lot before police arrived.  

Detectives from the SBPD as well as the FBI responded to the US Bank to conduct the investigation.

Both city’s police departments are working together on the current investigation.

Anyone who may have witnessed the Garden Grove incident is asked to contact Investigator Lord at 714-741-5800.

Anyone with information relating to the Seal Beach robbery is encouraged to contact Detective Gary Krogman at 562-799-4100 X 1108 or GKrogman@sealbeachca.gov.

People may also call "Crime Stoppers" anonymously by dialing (855) TIP-OCCS, or by using the website www.occrimestoppers.org.

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