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Crime & Justice

FBI announces capture of notorious ‘Snowboarder Bandit,’ identified as 29-year-old Riverside man

Bank footage of the so-called Snowboarder Bandit
Bank footage of the so-called Snowboarder Bandit

The prolific bank robber known as the “Snowboarder Bandit” has been captured, the FBI announced today.

Michael Franks, a 29-year-old Riverside resident, was apprehended last night, authorities said. The circumstances of the arrest were not disclosed, although an NBC report cites FBI officials as saying that media coverage helped investigators develop leads in the case. Franks was reportedly picked up with help from the Irvine Police Department.

The Snowboarder Bandit, known for his trademark knit cap and sunglasses, robbed at least 10 banks between December and March in Orange County, including three times in Irvine. He was listed among the FBI’s most wanted bank robbers.

Palm Springs’ Desert Sun newspaper lists the bank jobs that authorities say Franks did: Dec. 20 in Laguna Hills, Jan. 9 in Anaheim Hills, Jan. 15 in Irvine, Jan. 28 in Ladera Ranch, Jan. 31 in Corona del Mar, Feb. 1 in Irvine, Feb. 13 in Anaheim Hills, Feb. 21 in Laguna Niguel, March 2 in Irvine and March 5 in Anaheim Hills.

More information on the case is expected next week.