They've been given names such as the Daybreak Bandit, the Cross-Dressing Bandit, the Playboy Bandit and the Lunch Bag Bandit, and now law enforcement is hoping 21st century technology will help diminish a centuries-old problem.
A new Web site launched Monday -- BanditTrackerChicago.com -- will post up-to-date photos and descriptions of suspects in bank robberies committed throughout the Chicagoland area that's covered by the FBI's Chicago office.
The first of the bandit tracker sites was designed two years ago by the FBI, Electronic Tracking Systems, a Dallas-based security firm, and the North Texas Crime Commission. The sites offer full-color photos and descriptions of robbery suspects and receive exposure on more than a dozen search engines.
The FBI said the Bandit Tracker sites have received over 250,000 visits and the photographs viewed over 5 million times.
"The use of bank surveillance video has been a hugely successful tool in solving many bank robberies," said Cook county Sheriff Tom Dart. "Inviting the public to now bring a fresh set of eyes to these images can only help us build on the success our team has already seen."
Chicagoland has seen over 200 bank robberies in each of the past four years.