SF: “Up Close” bandit arrested

SAN FRANCISCO (BCN)

A San Francisco man dubbed the “Up Close” bandit has been arrested in connection with two bank robberies in the city in June and July, FBI officials said Thursday.

Cleophas Kirksey, 47, was arrested in Oakland on Wednesday after the FBI received two anonymous tips about his identity and whereabouts, FBI spokesman Peter Lee said.

The agency earlier this month had released surveillance photos of the suspect they believe to be Kirksey, who allegedly robbed a Bank of America at 2310 Fillmore St. on July 1 and a Citibank at 2198 Chestnut St. on June 17.

During the robberies, the suspect allegedly entered the bank, simulated having a gun and demanded money from a teller, according to the FBI.

The suspect was referred to as the “Up Close” bandit because of the high-quality resolution of the surveillance photos taken during the robberies, FBI officials said.

“We couldn’t have done this without the public’s help and the two brave citizens that came forward,” Lee said.

The FBI is also still seeking a group of suspects believed to be responsible for at least five other robberies in San Francisco and Millbrae since April.

The group, dubbed the “High Jumper” bandits, frequently jump over teller counters to grab cash from bank drawers, FBI officials said.

The most recent robberies occurred in San Francisco on Aug. 1 at a First Republic Bank at 6001 Geary Blvd. and at a Bank of America at 1007 Taraval St. on June 6. Two others occurred in San Francisco and Millbrae on June 3 while a fifth happened on April 19 at a Wells Fargo at 725 Irving St.

The suspects are described as three black men between 20 and 35 years old, two of whom are between 6 feet and 6 feet 2 inches tall while the other is between 5 feet 8 inches and 5 feet 10 inches tall. During the robberies, they wear clothing to mask their faces, FBI officials said.

Anyone with information about the other bank robbery suspects in the Bay Area is asked to call the FBI’s San Francisco office at (415) 553-7400. Tips can also be submitted at tips.fbi.gov.

(Copyright 2013 Bay City News.  All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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