The bandit dubbed "El Chaparrito" by the FBI may be responsible for a ninth bank robbery.
The agency is now offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspect after he robbed the Chase Bank in the 300 block of W. Washington Street in Hillcrest on Feb. 13, according to FBI spokesman Darrell Foxworth.
The suspect earned the nickname "El Chaparrito" due to his small stature. He has been tied to eight other robberies dating back to Nov. 2013.
The FBI said El Chaparrito's robberies are all similar in nature, involving a short man entering a bank, yelling about his intent to rob the bank and demanding money in both Spanish and English.
Witnesses told investigators the suspect is a 20 to 30-year-old man between 5-foot-3 and 5-foot-9 with a medium build, and he weighs between 140 and 180 pounds.
While his stature is distinctive, his face has been covered by a bandana under a hat. He has worn gloves, all black clothing and a jacket zipped to his chin in some of the robberies.
His previous suspected robberies are as follows:
- Chase Bank at 1130 E. Plaza Blvd. on Nov. 19, 2013
- California Coast Credit Union at 1060 University Ave. #A101 on Dec. 13, 2013
- Chase Bank at 6116 Mission Gorge Rd. on Dec. 19, 2013
- Chase Bank at 4500 Bonita Rd. in Chula Vista on Jan. 3, 2014
- Chase Bank at 4111 Governor Dr. on Jan. 10, 2014
- Chase Bank at 5303 Ruffin Rd. on Jan. 15, 2014
- Wells Fargo Bank at 1220 Cleveland Ave. on Jan. 23, 2014
- Bank of America at 5851 Balboa Ave. on Jan. 29, 2014
If you have any information about El Chaparrito, call the FBI at 858-320-1800 or Crime Stoppers at 888-540-8477.