FBI says Rabid Fan Bandit behind 16 bank robberies in Puget Sound area

Staff writerApril 23, 2014 

The FBI says a man suspected of being the “Rabid Fan Bandit” and holding up eight banks also coached a bank robbery gang called “Buddy Bandits” in how to rob another eight banks.

Robert Adams, 31, was arrested Monday in Des Moines, four days after Pierce County prosecutors issued a warrant for his arrest and charged two other men in one of the robberies.

The 16 bank robberies took place in March and April, mostly at bank branches inside larger stores.

The Rabid Fan Bandit, believed to be Adams, held up banks in Lakewood, Tacoma, Puyallup, Auburn, Covington, Renton, Des Moines and Spokane. He earned his nickname because he wore caps featuring a different sports team during the holdups.

Adams allegedly worked with Vincent Thompson, 31, to instruct three teenage boys and 27-year-old Jeff Black on how to carry out robberies. He is also accused of being the getaway driver for the so-called Buddy Bandits – named because they held up banks in pairs.

All six alleged robbers have been charged with at least one count of first-degree robbery. Prosecutors said more charges will likely be filed.

On Wednesday, Pierce County prosecutors charged a 15-year-old boy with two counts of first-degree robbery for an April 1 robbery of a Tacoma bank and an April 7 robbery of a Frederickson bank.

The Buddy Bandits hit eight banks in Tacoma, Puyallup, Federal Way, Kent, Reonton and Des Moines.

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