Alleged Mesh Mask Bandit indicted for $18,000 Dallas bank robbery
A federal grand jury has indicted Farmers Branch resident Luis de la Garza on one count of bank robbery. The FBI is investigating de la Garza as the Mesh Mask Bandit, an infamous criminal responsible for 19 Dallas-Fort Worth bank robberies dating back to New Year's Eve 2012.
The indictment covers an April 2013 robbery at Wells Fargo Bank in Farmers Branch. De la Garza is charged with stealing $18,616 by force, violence and intimidation and with the use of a deadly weapon.
The amount of money stolen in the 18 other bank robberies has not been released. If the April haul is any indication, the Mesh Mask Bandit could have made off with more than $350,000 in his six-month crime spree.
The Mesh Mask Bandit targeted six banks in Dallas proper; three in Carrollton; and two each in Arlington, Garland and Grand Prairie. Banks in Addison, Farmers Branch, Lewisville and Plano were all hit once.
Since being arrested in June, a different picture of de la Garza has emerged. Although he had a few minor arrests dating back to 2005, de la Garza was best known for his work as an activist in the Latino community. He reportedly attended the inauguration of Mexican president Felipe Calderon and was active with U.S. immigration reform efforts.