‘Fedora bandit’ nabbed in Oakland
A man allegedly tried to press his luck by robbing the same Oakland bank twice in one month. He was tracked down less than five hours later by police.
Randall Lee Elson, the 25-year-old labeled the “fedora bandit,” is a convicted Washington state bank robber.
He got the nickname from signature hats he would sometimes wear during robberies. Police say they recovered hats and cash at Elson’s apartment on 14th Avenue. The money was wrapped in plastic and placed in his toilet’s water tank.
Police also found evidence suggesting Elson was also involved in identity theft, check fraud and counterfeiting.
Police said they found him at around 6:15 p.m. with crack cocaine and marijuana. He was attempting to get into a van driven by a friend who he texted to pick him up.
The friend was questioned and later released.
Police believe Elson committed the crimes in order to use the money for drugs. They say he robbed a Citibank at 1325 Broadway around 1:55 p.m. wearing a baseball cap, even targeting the same teller he allegedly robbed a month ago.
Police were already seeking Elson when they received a call that he was at the 14th Avenue apartment.
He had been living in the apartment for several months and was in the process of being evicted for failing to pay rent, police said.
Elson, who grew up in Modesto, was released from prison in May 2011 after serving a term for robbing a Washington state bank before he arrived in Oakland.
He was arrested on multiple counts of robbery and drug possession and is being held in lieu of $100,000 bail.