Spring Valley’s Sweaty Tattooed Bandit goes on crime spree
Stores, cars, houses, nothing was off-limits to one man Tuesday; he hit them all. We like to give nicknames to our bad guys in southern California, so we've dubbed him the Sweaty Tattooed Bandit, and deputies want him caught before somebody gets hurt.
Deresa Patino was lucky; the guy who stumbled into her nail place and tried to sell her something in Spring Valley didn't get her money or her car, but he did manage to rob two other businesses, commit two home invasions and steal four cars in just one afternoon. His crime spree started at a travel agency on Jamacha Boulevard – where he showed a gun and got a purse with car keys. He then his the smoke shop next door, where he got cash and more car keys. This time, he took the car from the parking lot. He drove a few miles, ditched that car and walked into a house through an open door, grabbed the keys and took their car. He ditched that one near the Hallmark store.
“…goes into the back picks up a wallet and keys, hitting the button on the keys to find the car that they go to… finds it and jumps in that car,” said Sgt. Greg Hampton of the San Diego Police Department.
And he still wasn't done! He drove to another house, walked in, took the keys, drove two miles away in a fourth car, left it there and police lost his trail. They are hoping surveillance video from the smoke shop, where he changes his outfit, will help find him.
“Somebody is going to know this guy… parole agent, neighbor, friend. This guy is committing all these armed robberies and is very dangerous, we want him in custody. He looks like he is under the influence, odd for somebody to walk in and take off his clothes… all of the victims said he was sweating profusely.”
One woman Tuesday felt very lucky.
“I tried to be strong,” said Patino, “cause with that person, when you feel weak and you show weak, they take advantage.”
The sweaty tattooed bandit's description is a white male in his late 30's or early 40's, about 5' 10″ to 6 feet tall, he is bald and has tattoos on his chest, back and arms. If you know who this guy may be, call Crimestoppers. Sheriff's say they know it's getting hot out, but lock your doors – even when you are home – because you never know who's prowling around your neighborhood.