FBI: Montana man is bank robber dubbed ‘AK-47 bandit’

Richard Lee Gathercole

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Authorities say a Montana man accused of shooting at a Kansas state trooper is a bank robber dubbed “the AK-47 bandit” by the FBI.

Stephen Woolery, special agent in charge of the FBI in Los Angeles, said Tuesday that Richard Gathercole of Roundup, Montana, was arrested last week in Lexington, Nebraska.

Gathercole is suspected of committing six bank robberies and an attempted bank robbery in California, Washington, Idaho, Nebraska and Iowa.

Gathercole is also accused of wounding a police officer in a shooting after a 2012 bank robbery in Chino, California.

The FBI has said he typically wore a mask and carried an AK-47 rifle with a drum magazine during the robberies.

A jailhouse phone call transcript showed Gathercole asked his mother to clear his home of guns after his arrest. Authorities found numerous homemade explosives inside the home on Saturday.

It wasn’t immediately clear if Gathercole has an attorney who could comment.


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