News & Politics

How Did the “Fake Hair Don’t Care Bandit” Get Her Amazing Nickname?

Please allow the FBI to explain.

On Tuesday, the FBI offered a $10,000 reward for a woman who robbed five different banks across Northwest DC and Maryland from May 2016 to August 2017. Her real name? Unknown. Her nickname? Unforgettable: The “Fake Hair Don’t Care Bandit.”

Kadia Koroma, a spokesperson for the FBI’s Washington Field Office, says credit for that name goes to the agents working on the case. Agents sometimes give catchy nicknames to suspects to get the public’s attention, with the hope that civilians will have an easier time identifying and reporting a suspect. (Per Bureau policy, Koroma declined to name the agents.)

The name, which may derive from a venerable meme, fits: “In each robbery, this serial bank robber has worn a wig,” says Koroma. “And she just… does not care. She’s very brazen. She hasn’t become violent yet but we believe she has the potential to become violent.”

By Koroma’s count, there have been three other recent examples of FBI agents trying meme-ify bank robbers:

“The Chameleon Beard Bandit” is suspected of robbing six banks across Virginia, North Carolina, Kentucky, and Texas. He often wore camouflage hats, sunglasses, and either threatened or brandished a handgun. Security camera photos depict a nice, full beard.

The “Twirly Head Bandit” robbed seven banks in Southern California over a three-week span earlier this summer. The wanted poster shows a man in sunglasses and a white shirt, with “a circular design shaved into his hair,” that resembles a B note on the treble clef.

And last, but not least, there are “The Criss-Cross Bandits”—a male and female duo suspected of 11 bank robberies in Arizona since November 2016. They got the name because they allegedly take turns committing robberies. But the wanted poster also says that “most of the clothing appears to be oversized,” so the nickname could also be a veiled shoutout to the early ’90s hip-hop duo Kriss Kross.

It’s unclear whether this strategy actually works. All four of these cases remain unsolved, but Koroma thinks the nicknames have proven useful.

“It should drag people to look at the poster or the press release,” she says. “It’s kind of catchy, but it was done with a purpose.”

If you think you’ve seen the Fake Hair Don’t Care Bandit, you can submit a tip here.

Jackson Knapp
Assistant Editor