U.S.

Montana man is bank robber dubbed 'AK-47 bandit'

Montana man is bank robber dubbed 'AK-47 bandit'

The robber, who committed the robberies while wearing tactical gear, was never caught and the Federal Bureau of Investigation was offering a $100,000 reward for the man's arrest.

Gathercole was arrested in Nebraska last week after he allegedly fired several shots from an AK-47 rifle at a Kansas trooper during a traffic stop.

According to the transcript, Gathercole tells his mother to get all the guns out of the house.

The woman agreed, then said, "This is recorded".

"With his increasingly brazen and unsafe tendencies, we knew it was a matter of time before he acted again", said Chino Police Chief Karen Comstock.

Federal agents found homemade bombs in the Montana home of a man they suspect is the "AK-47 Bandit", who is wanted for a string of bank robberies - one of which occurred in Chino - and is accused of shooting at a Kansas state trooper, according to authorities and court documents filed Monday, June 26. Investigators believe that he is the AK47 Bandit, according to the...

Investigators searched the home in the city of Roundup on Saturday and found "numerous" improvised explosive devices.

During one of the robberies in California, the man shot and seriously wounded an officer, according to Federal Bureau of Investigation officials.

In Mason City, Gathercole was accused of robbing the Heartland Community Credit Union and of using an improvised explosive device to threaten tellers. The officer was seriously wounded but survived.




The alleged shooting at a Kansas State Trooper happened exactly one week after Gathercole was arrested in Musselshell County for drunk driving. The trooper wasn't injured.

"The AK- 47 Bandit was public enemy No. 1 in terms of bank robbers", said Stephen Woolery, the FBI's special agent in charge of the Los Angeles office.

Based on these and other factors, investigators believe Gathercole is responsible for the bank robberies attributed to the AK-47 series, Pullen said. A sheriff's deputy had spotted a pickup that Kansas authorities had said was stolen by a man who fired at a state trooper Monday along Interstate 70. Ramos said his priority is extraditing Gathercole back to San Bernardino County, a process that will begin Wednesday.

After he was arrested, authorities served a warrant at Gathercole's home in Roundup, Montana, where they discovered a cache of homemade bombs, according to Chino Police Chief Karen Comstock. It's unclear whether he was being represented by an attorney.

The AK-47 bandit is known to wear a balaclava mask with an AK-47 rifle during the robberies.

Investigators say Gathercole robbed banks, while armed with an assault rifle, in California, Washington, Idaho, Nebraska and Iowa.

He was arrested June 20 at the Nebraskaland Truck Stop in Lexington, authorities said.

A similar robbery occurred in Mason City, Iowa, and is the last known robbery linked to the AK-47 series. Musselshell County Attorney Kevin Peterson said that he doesn't now plan to file any local charges against Gathercole in addition to the misdemeanors charged in justice court.


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