FBI nabs serial bank robber dubbed Mesh Mask Bandit
After more than six months on the lam, suspected serial bank robber Luis de la Garza has been captured. The FBI says de la Garza is the infamous Mesh Mask Bandit responsible for 19 Dallas-Fort Worth bank robberies dating back to New Year's Eve 2012.
De la Garza, a 59-year-old resident of Farmers Branch, has been charged with one count of bank robbery for an April 2013 incident at Wells Fargo.
“The identification of the ‘Mesh Mask Bandit’ by the FBI’s Bank Robbery Task Force was the result of collaborative local and federal investigation across nine cities,” FBI agent Diego G. Rodriguez said in a statement. “The arrest of this dangerous individual illustrates the effectiveness of task forces, the support provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office and cooperation within the law enforcement community.”
On May 2, when the Mesh Mask Bandit had only 17 notches on his armed-robbery belt, the FBI announced a $20,000 reward for information leading to a suspect's arrest and conviction.
His arrest stems from an eye witness who spotted de la Garza without his signature mask outside Wells Fargo in Farmers Branch on April 22. The witness provided a description that led to a police sketch and later identified de la Garza in a photo lineup.
The Farmers Branch Police Department is assisting the FBI in the investigation and the case is being prosecuted by assistant U.S. attorney Taly Haffar.