Jesse Gamboa (Jail photo)
GEORGETOWN (February 18, 2014) An elusive man believed to be the so-called “ZZ Top Bandit” remains in custody after he was arrested earlier this month and now the FBI says he may be responsible for 23 bank robberies over the past 10 years, some of them in Central Texas.
Jesse Gamboa, 51, of Fort Worth, was arrested on Feb. 4 in Williamson County after sheriff's deputies and FBI agents set up a sting.
Gamboa also uses seven aliases, Williamson County Jail records show.
He was ordered held in lieu of bonds totaling $1 million, charged with four counts of aggravated robbery, and was ordered held without bond on a state prison parole violation, jail records showed.
“The ZZ Top Bandit,” also called "The Interstate Bandit," earned his nickname because of disguises he used during hold ups, the first of which happened on Jan. 2, 2004 in Georgetown.
Over the past 10 years authorities say he was responsible for bank heists in Troy, Round Rock, New Braunfels, Valley View, Elm Mott, Little River Academy, Salado and Marquez, a Williamson County Sheriff's Office news release said Tuesday.
Most of the banks he held up were small banks in small towns and in many of the holdups he used a weapon, the FBI said.
Sometimes he forced bank employees into the vault and then fled in a rented car.
His disguise typically included a grey beard and wig, sunglasses, jeans and tennis shoes.
He never wore the same hat or shirt twice, the FBI said.
Agents believe the bandit's last hold up was on Oct 31, 2013 at the Schwertner State Bank, where a man wearing a straw hat and a mask pointed a handgun at employees and made off with more than $100,000, FBI Agent Fred Rhea said.
It was that robbery that resulted in the arrest after agents and deputies set up a web page about the robbery and noticed that one man was routinely responding who seemed to know too many details about the robbery that had not been made public.
After some intensive investigating deputies and agents were able to obtain a warrant and arrest a suspect, the release said.