The so-called “Explosive Threat Bandit” who was responsible for bank heists throughout Southern California last year, including Marina del Rey, Venice and Santa Monica, has begun serving his 11-year prison sentence.
William Joseph Allen, 32, was convicted of eight counts of robbery and attempted robbery. He robbed the Comerica Bank on 4040 Lincoln Blvd. in Marina del Rey on March 23, 2012 and detectives used forensic evidence from a subsequent heist in Santa Monica to identify him. Authorities apprehended him on April 17, 2012 in downtown Los Angeles.
During bank robberies, Allen dropped off packages of electronic components and wiring as he told tellers that someone outside the bank would detonate the bomb if things did not go according to plan. On other occasions, he would brandish a gun and demand cash, handing notes such as “the establishment will not exist,” if the teller did not comply.
The bombs were fake but the device and associated threats called for various Los Angeles County bomb squads to respond to banks in order to render the situation safe — and each process lasted several hours and required a lot of manpower, the FBI said.
The string of eight bank robberies and attempted bank robberies began Nov. 15, 2011 at a Bank of America in West Covina and ended at a Wells Fargo in Santa Monica on March 29, 2012.