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AK-47 bandit suspect indicted in Seattle

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Posted at 4:34 PM, Jul 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-07 17:34:22-04

A federal Grand Jury in Seattle indicted the suspected “Ak-47 Bandit” on robbery and weapons charges, the FBI announced Friday.

Richard Lee Gathercole, 39, was indicted Thursday on one count of bank robbery and one count of possession of a weapon in furtherance of a crime of violence, relating to the July 6, 2012, robbery of a bank in North Bend, Wash., according to a press release from the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Omaha Division.

Gathercole of Roundup, Mont., was apprehended by the Dawson County Sheriff’s Office in Nebraska after a high speed chase starting in Kansas on June 19.

A federal search warrant was conducted on June 24 at Gathercole’s residence in Roundup, Mont., by members of the FBI; the Chino (Calif.) Police Department; the Musselshell County (Mont.) Sheriff’s Office; and the Rexburg (Idaho) Police Department.

During the search, investigators located several pieces of evidence they believe were used in the commission of the various so-called "AK-47 Bandit" series of bank robberies.In addition, Gathercole is known to have access to vehicles matching the description of the suspect vehicles used to flee some of the robberies. 

Based on these and other factors, investigators believe Gathercole is responsible for the following "AK-47 Bandit" bank robberies:

  • Feb. 29, 2012, California Bank & Trust in Chino, Calif. 
  • March 12, 2012, Bank of the West in Vacaville, Calif.
  • July 6, 2012, Chase Bank in North Bend, Wash.
  • Nov. 7, 2012, East Idaho Credit Union in Rexburg, Idaho 
  • Aug. 22, 2014, First Nebraska Bank in Nebraska City, Neb.
  • July 28, 2015, Heartland Community Credit Union in Mason City, Iowa
  • March 9, 2012, attempted robbery at the Tri-Cities Bank in Sacramento, Calif.