|Updated: 6/23/2011 6:15 pm
||Published: 6/23/2011 5:53 pm
Even after James "Whitey" Bulger's arrest Wednesday night in Santa Monica, California, new questions are surfacing about his possible involvement in other crimes during the 16 years he was on the run.
Investigators with the FBI believe Whitey Bulger spent much of those 16 years living in Orange County, California. Now speculation is popping up all over the Web that the so-called "Geezer Bandit", who has been linked to as many as 17 bank robberies in the past six years, may in fact be Bulger.
The search for the Geezer Bandit began in 2005 when an elderly man robbed three banks in Orange County. that's when FBI agents started wondering if the elderly bank robber could be Whitey Bulger. After all, there had been reported sightings of Bulger in the Orange County area before.
In 2006 a Los Angeles Times reporter asked FBI agents if they thought there could be a connection between the bank robber and Bulger. A spokeswoman for the FBI told her "absolutely, there's speculation. But although we can't say it's absolutely not him, we really don't think it is."
Then from August, 2009 through May, 2011 there were 14 bank robberies in the Southern California area all linked to the same suspect. That's when the Geezer Bandit earned his nickname.
His M-O is simple. He stands in line with other customers, then, with a gun in view, he hands the teller a note that reads "give me $50,000 or I will murder you."
The biggest questions about the possible connection come from the physical descriptions of the two. They're similar, but not exactly the same.
Bulger is described as being five-feet, nine-inches tall, and weighing 150 to 160 lbs. The Geezer Bandit is described as being five-feet, eight-inches tall, and weighing 190 to 205 lbs. the Geezer Bandit is believed to be in his 70s. Bulger is now 81, but would have been 75 in 2005 during the first string of Geezer robberies.
So far, bank robbery is not on the long list of crimes Bulger was already wanted for.