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FBI: ‘Black Hat Bandits’ Rob Wells Fargo Bank in Falls Church Monday

(Photo: Patricia Leslie/News-Press)
(Photo: Patricia Leslie/News-Press)

Two men, armed with handguns, robbed the Wells Fargo Bank at the corner of West and Broad streets in the City of Falls Church Monday afternoon. Police say the suspects are known as the “Black Hat Bandits” and have robbed seven other banks in Virginia and Maryland so far this year.

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Surveillance footage from Monday’s robbery. (Source: FBI)

The suspects in Monday’s robbery are described as males in their early forties, between 5’7″ and 5’9″ tall, dressed in all black clothing with black ski masks, entered the bank at 1000 West Broad Street around 12:42 p.m. this afternoon and brandished small firearms. Police say the suspects then fled the bank in a vehicle driving towards West and Broad streets. No injuries were sustained in the robbery.

In addition to Monday’s robbery in Falls Church, the Federal Bureau of Investigation says the Black Hat Bandits have robbed banks in McLean, Fairfax, Vienna and Arnold, Md.

Monday’s bank robbery comes just over a week after the Apple Federal Credit Union, just a few blocks away, was robbed by a man at gunpoint on February 21. It is not believed last week’s robbery is related to today’s incident.

Remarks on the FBI’s website about the Black Hat Bandits says “In an escalation of violence, the Black Hat Bandits have become more brazen at each robbery having threatened bank customers and tellers, most recently holding a gun to a customer’s head, and jumping teller counters in attempts to gain access to bank vaults. During each robbery, the Black Hat Bandits have been described as carrying handguns and wearing winter coats, sunglasses, black hats (either a winter knit cap or wide-brimmed hat) and facial disguises such as ski masks or a fake beard.”

The FBI is offering a reward of up to $30,000 for information that leads to the identification, arrest and conviction of these bank robbers.

The FBI and the F.C. Police Department are investigating this robbery and request that anyone with information call the FBI at 202-278-2000 or Falls Church Police at 703-241-5053. To see a listing of all bank robbers wanted by the FBI’s Washington Field Office, visit https://bankrobbers.fbi.gov.

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