FBI: 'Double Hat Bandit' arrested after string of Western bank robberies

BOISE -- The man responsible for more than a dozen bank robberies across Idaho and other Western states has been caught, the FBI announced Friday.

Fifty-four-year-old Shane Carson - dubbed the "Double Hat Bandit" by authorities - was arrested Thursday in the parking lot of a motel in Whitehead, Indiana.

Carson has already been charged in connection to a robbery in West Valley, Utah, and is a suspect in 13 other bank robberies in Utah, Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Colorado between Dec. 19, 2016 and July 22. FBI officials say they believe Carson may also be linked to other robberies in Colorado, Iowa and Ohio.

In each of the robberies, the robber wore two hats, earning him the unique nickname.

In the Idaho case, Carson is accused of robbing the U.S. Bank inside Albertsons on West State Street July 22.

MORE: FBI looking for the 'Double Hat Bandit'

According to the FBI, the robber walked up to a bank employee and handed over a note that read "I have a gun give me all your money." Witnesses described the robber a 6-foot white man wearing a white baseball hat with a cloth under it.

The case began to come together after witnesses saw the robber driving a gray Chevrolet sedan with New Mexico plates after a June robbery in Spokane. Investigators in New Mexico used photographs to determine the car was likely a 2004 Chevrolet Malibu.

An FBI analyst in New Mexico then used a database to pull drivers licence photos of everyone who had registered a gray 2004 Chevrolet Malibu in the state. Of all the owners whose photos were reviewed, only one driver's photo looked "extremely similar" to surveillance images captured of the robber - Shane Carson.

On Aug. 31, the FBI recieved a police report from Salem, Oregon showing that Carson had been arrested Jan. 27, 2017 for DUI. He was then extradited to Texas for violating his parole in that state.

Authorities say the suspect was incarcerated until May 31, at which point he was released to a halfway house. He walked away from the halfway house June 14, and had been a fugitive since.

There were no "Double Hat Bandit" robberies during the time Carson was in custody, the FBI says.

If convicted, Carson could face up to a life sentence.

© 2017 KTVB-TV


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