Crime - Sacto 911

‘Bad Breath Bandit’ sought in Nevada City, Butte County bank robberies

The FBI is seeking information that might lead to apprehension of a man suspected of robbing three Northern California banks, in Nevada, Tehama and Butte counties.

Law enforcement authorities have dubbed the man the “Bad Breath Bandit” because he has used a disposable paper face mask during each of the robberies. He is described as white, approximately 6 feet tall, weighing 210 to 250 pounds, with a medium build and dark hair.

The first of the three robberies occurred about 12:52 p.m. June 17 when the man entered the Tri Counties Bank at 305 Railroad Ave. in Nevada City. He approached a teller at the employee’s window, presented a black backpack and demanded cash, according to an FBI news release. After receiving an undisclosed amount of money from the first teller, he approached two other tellers and received funds from them as well, then left the bank.

About 11 a.m. the same day, the man entered the Bank of the West at 460 Brunswick Road in Grass Valley. After a brief interaction with an employee, he left the bank on foot without incident, authorities said.

During both incidents in Nevada County, the man reportedly wore a blue, button-front shirt with sleeves pushed up, blue jeans, black shoes and a black San Francisco Giants baseball hat. He also attempted to conceal his identity by wearing a dust mask, or medical mask, with yellow straps and dark sunglasses.

The second robbery occurred about 10:35 a.m. Sept. 25 at the Umpqua Bank at 7843 Highway 99 in Los Molinos, in Tehama County. In this instance, the man approached a teller’s desk and aimed a handgun at the teller, according to the FBI. He then walked behind the teller’s desk and made demands while holding the gun in a pocket of the backpack. During this robbery, the man wore a back, zip-front, hooded jacket with with a Nike logo on the left breast. He also wore blue jeans, black shoes, a black San Francisco Giants baseball hat, a dust mask and dark wrap-around sunglasses.

The most recent robbery occurred about 10:24 a.m. Thursday at the Tri Counties Bank at 9411 Midway in the Butte County community of Durham. The man reportedly approach a teller and displayed a handgun while demanding cash. After receiving an undisclosed amount of money and placing it in a blue backpack, the man walked out of the bank and proceeded to a nearby orchard. His attire on this occasion matched that worn during the robbery in Los Molinos.

Anyone with information regarding the robberies or the man’s identity is asked to call the FBI at (661) 323-9665 or (800) 885-5984. Additional details and photos of the “Bad Breath Bandit” are available on the FBI’s Wanted Bank Robbers website,

Call The Bee’s Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.