Fake website nabs bank robbery suspect

All of the money was recovered in a storage unit and returned to Schwertner Bank (Julie Karam/KXAN)
All of the money was recovered in a storage unit and returned to Schwertner Bank (Julie Karam/KXAN)

SCHWERTNER, Texas (KXAN) — A man who was on parole for a bank robbery in 1986 is back in jail for allegedly robbing a Williamson County bank in October.

According to court documents, Jesse Gamboa, 51, robbed the Schwertner State Bank in Schwertner on Oct. 31.

During the robbery, Gamboa pointed a handgun at the employees and demanded money. He was able to get away with $100,000.

Witnesses weren’t able to identify his face because he had a mask and a straw hat on, but one witness was able to tell authorities the suspect drove away in a silver, four-door car.

Detectives set up the bogus website “schwertnerbankrobbery.org.”

When investigators started checking to see who was searching that site, the IP address came back to Gamboa, who was in Fort Worth. That set off a string of events.

Officials brief the press on the bank robbery (Julie Karam/KXAN)
Officials brief the press on the bank robbery (Julie Karam/KXAN)

Detectives then checked Gamboa’s cellphone records which indicated he made a call from the Jarrell area just minutes before the robbery. One hour before the robbery, surveillance video from a gas station in Temple showed Gamboa getting gas in a silver four door car.

Gamboa was arrested on Feb. 4 and is currently in the Williamson County jail charged with four counts of aggravated robbery. His bond is set at $1 million.

Now that Gamboa is in custody, authorities in the Dallas area believe Gamboa may be the man they’ve dubbed the “ZZ Top bandit.”

The “ZZ Top bandit” has robbed at least 22 banks in the past 11 years, law enforcement officials said. His long string of heists since 2003, often in small Texas towns along Interstate 35, stumped investigators and later prompted the FBI to rename him the “I-35 bandit.”

Gamboa has not been charged in any other cases except for the Schwertner case.

NBC Station KXAS

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