28 June, 2017
A Montana man who had homemade bombs in his house and is accused of shooting at a Kansas state trooper has been identified by the authorities as the elusive serial bank robber known as the 'AK-47 bandit, ' according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Richard Gathercole, 39, was arrested after he shot at a state trooper, but authorities later learned he's wanted for a series of bank robberies. The trooper was not injured in the shooting.
Numerous Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) were located at the residence and were removed and rendered safe by the Billings Police Department Bomb Squad.
Based on a variety of factors, to include the description of the suspect and evidence found, investigators suspect that Gathercole may be responsible for the series of six bank robberies linked to the AK-47 Bandit.
FBI officials in Los Angeles confirmed that the search was connected to a bank robbery investigation.
The request tipped off federal agents to the trail of one of the country's most sought-after bank robbers, the "AK-47 Bandit", who is suspected of shooting and seriously wounding a Chino, Calif., police officer and carrying out a string of heists in California, Washington, Idaho, Nebraska and Mason City.
No one was harmed August 22, 2014, when authorities said the "AK-47 Bandit" robbed the First National Bank branch on the south side of Nebraska City.
The Dawson County, Nebraska, Sheriff's Office is holding Richard Gathercole, 39, in jail on charges of possessing stolen property and a stolen firearm.
On the morning of July 28th 2015, a bank robbery occurred at the Heartland Community Credit Union in Mason City, Iowa.
Federal authorities said Monday that they believe the man known as the "AK-47 bandit" has been arrested. Ramos said his priority is extraditing Gathercole back to San Bernardino County, a process that will begin Wednesday.
The investigation is on-going and additional information will be provided by the FBI, according to the Musselshell County Sheriff's Office.
According to a transcript of the call, Gathercole told his mom to "get all the guns out".
It was not immediately clear if Gathercole had an attorney who could comment on the allegations. Police say he had a bulletproof vest, an AK-47 and a mask in his vehicle.
One of those may occurred at a bank in Vacaville, California, in 2012. "And that's exactly what happened when he shot at a Kansas state trooper last Monday". He typically wore a mask and carried an AK-47 rifle with a drum-type magazine.
Following an exchange of gunfire, he was able to carjack a bystander and escape once again, but officials arrested Gathercole the next day in Lexington, Nebraska. Musselshell County Attorney Kevin Peterson said that he doesn't now plan to file any local charges against Gathercole in addition to the misdemeanors charged in justice court.