‘Double Hat Bandit’ pleads guilty to 18 bank robberies, including 4 in Utah

A surveillance photo from a bank robbery involving the "double hat bandit."

SALT LAKE CITY — A man known as the “Double Hat Bandit” pleaded guilty to 18 bank robberies in several states and will face between 12 to 15 years in prison upon sentencing.

The US Attorney’s Office for the District of Utah announced the plea deal Wednesday, saying 54-year-old Shayne Carson of Albuquerque, New Mexico has admitted to a string of bank robberies across seven states.

The plea deal resolves four Utah cases as well as four cases in Oregon, three in Colorado, three in Washington, one in Idaho, two in Iowa, and one in Ohio.

The majority of the robberies occurred at bank locations inside of grocery stores and involved a man wearing two hats.

Carson admitted to authorities that in the majority of the cases he told the teller he had a gun and/or brandished what appeared to be a firearm. Law enforcement now believes the handgun he brandished in those cases was not a real firearm.

Police say the first robbery covered in the plea deal occurred in Colorado Springs in October of 2016 and the last was a robbery in Cedar Rapids, Iowa in September of 2017. The man received amounts ranging from $834 to $8,377 in each of the robberies.

Carson was arrested in Indiana a short time after the robbery in Iowa. 

The plea agreement stipulates a prison sentence of at least 12 years and not to exceed more than 15 years, however the stipulated sentencing is subject to court approval.

Carson’s sentence will be determined, along with any restitution he must pay, at a sentencing hearing currently scheduled for August.