A North County man accused of holding up two banks and a medical facility at gunpoint claimed to be the robbery suspect known as the "Geezer Bandit", according to police.
However, FBI investigators say the suspect has been identified as Edward Power, 58, and is not believed to be the Geezer Bandit, wanted for 11 robberies around San Diego County over the last year. It's unclear why Power claimed to be the Geezer Bandit, agents said.
Witnesses told police that a man walked into the bank on Vista Way shortly before 3:30 p.m. Monday and demanded money from a teller.
"Somebody yelled saying he has a gun," said one customer.
"Teller gave him an undisclosed amount of money, after he exposed a firearm, a handgun in his waistband," Oceanside Police spokesman Lt. Leonard Mata.
Police said the suspect told the teller he was "that bandit" according to a Carlsbad police report. Reports that the suspect was referring to the infamous Geezer Bandit have not been confirmed, Carlsbad police said.
Police got a break when a witness wrote down the license plate number of the PT Cruiser the suspect was seen driving away from the bank.
Carlsbad police officers later connected the suspect to an attempted robbery at North County Medical Center and a Bank of America on El Camino Real. Those two incidents happened just minutes before the Wells Fargo robbery.
Officers were able to use the license plate number to get the suspect's address on Village Drive in Carlsbad and were already waiting at the home for him to arrive.
The suspect's wife was also home and detained for a short time. Neighbors were evacuated and kept away from their homes until police got a search warrant and made sure no one else was inside the home.
"The suspect was subsequently identified and arrested," Lt. Mata told NBCSanDiego.
Power was taken to Carlsbad police headquarters for questioning. An ambulance later took him to a North County hospital. Carlsbad Police said he was suffering from health problems that were not associated with his arrest.
Neighbors said Power is a construction worker who has been struggling to make ends meet. "Eddie is good, a good guy," said neighbor Alturo Balcazar.
The suspect in the Geezer Bandit robberies has evaded authorities in a string of local robberies that have occurred since August 2009 in a path stretching from North County to downtown San Diego. His most recent occurred in June, agents say, at a Temecula bank.
Anyone with information concerning the “Geezer Bandit” is asked to contact the FBI at telephone number (858) 565-1255, San Diego Sheriff’s Department at (858) 565-5200, San Diego Police Department at (619) 531-2299, or Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.