DOWNTOWN — The man who attempted to rob the Wells Fargo on Fourth Street and Arizona Thursday is connected to a string of other successful bank robberies in the Los Angeles area, officials said.

The FBI calls the man the “Explosives Threat” bandit because he demands money from banks and leaves behind a device made of electronic components and wiring that he claims is a bomb or other explosive device, said Laura Eimiller, spokeswoman for the FBI.

The man goes into banks and either states that he has a bomb or that he has a friend waiting to detonate the device on the outside. He has demanded as much as $20,000 in cash from any single bank, both verbally and with a note slipped to a teller.

The man has been linked to at least six robberies in southern California since Nov. 15, 2011, and allegedly received cash from a bank in Marina del Rey on March 23.

The FBI describes him as a white male between 35 and 45 years of age, 175 and 190 pounds and 5-foot-10 and 5-foot-11 in height.

He should be considered armed and dangerous, officials said.

The FBI believes this to be the same man who entered the Wells Fargo and used a note to demand money. After a delay, he ran out of the bank south down Fourth Street.

He was still being sought by authorities as of Friday evening.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the FBI at (888) CANTHIDE (226-8443), or the SMPD at (310) 458-8427.

Anyone wishing to remain anonymous may call the WeTip hotline at (800) 78-CRIME (27463) or submit the tip online at www.wetip.com. Tipsters can also contact Crime Stoppers by either calling (800) 222-TIPS, texting from their mobile, or by visiting www.lacrimestoppers.org. Callers may remain anonymous and may be qualified to receive a $1,000 reward from Crime Stoppers.

ashley@www.smdp.com

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