Man Believed to be ‘Desperate Bandit’ Arrested in Indio

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INDIO, Calif. (KTLA) — Police have arrested a 47-year-old man they believe may be responsible in as many as nine bank robberies across Riverside, Orange and San Bernardino counties.

Michael Patrick Downing was arrested after officers stopped him on the 10 Freeway in Indio Friday afternoon.

Downing, a Chino Hills resident, was reportedly driving a white Toyota Corolla used in a robbery at the First Bank on the 81900 block of Avenue 42 in Indio earlier in the day.

At the time of his arrest, evidence was found in his car that tied him to the robbery, police said.

Investigators also believe Downing may be the “Desperate Bandit” and is wanted in robberies in Anaheim, Corona, Chino, Fullerton, La Habra, Placentia, Tustin and Yorba Linda dating back to August.

He earned his nickname by handing over a typed note saying he’s armed, “desperate” and wants cash.

Authorities say he always demands the same amount of cash, but that figure has not been released.

Anyone with information is asked to call detectives at (714) 993-8187.

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