Law Enforcement Source Says Bank Robber Shot in North Bay is "Cotton Ball Bandit"

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBC Bay Area has learned investigators believe a robbery suspect shot and wounded in San Rafael Wednesday is the so-called "cotton ball bandit." Jodi Hernandez reports.

    It appears a yearlong crime spree in the North Bay has come to an end.

    NBC Bay Area has learned investigators believe a robbery suspect shot and wounded in San Rafael Wednesday is the so-called "cotton ball bandit."

    "The teller I talked to, Karen, said they literally saw him walk nonchalantly to his car, get into his car and drive away," said Steven Baldocchi, a Bank of the West customer.

    Bank Robber Suspect Shot By Marin County Deputy

    [BAY] Bank Robber Suspect Shot By Marin County Deputy
    A Marin County sheriff's deputy shot a Novato bank robbery suspect after a pursuit that ended in San Rafael Wednesday morning, a police spokeswoman said. Jodi Hernandez reports.

    It may be that observation that has led investigators to arrest the man they believe is the cotton ball bandit.

    MORE: Bank Robbery Suspect Shot by Marin County Deputy

    A law enforcement official told NBC Bay Area the man suspected of robbing a Novato Bank of the West on Wednesday, before leading officers on a high-speed chase is the hat-wearing serial bank robber they've been looking for.

    While the FBI will not confirm that they have positively identified the suspect as the man they've been searching for, the department does acknowledge similarities between the two.

    "A hat or beanie of some sort was worn in yesterday's robbery," said Peter Lee of the FBI.  "The motive of the cotton ball bandit is a person who walks into a bank, passes a note to a teller, a demand note, and leaves the bank."

    North Bay residents on Thursday said they are relieved to hear of the likely end of the cotton ball bandit's crime spree.

    "I'm glad they were finally able to track him down and got him," said Pat Keehn, a Bank of the West customer. "It's really great police work."

    RELATED: FBI Offers Reward for "Cotton Ball Bandit"