A convicted bank robber dubbed the “Bearded Bandit” has been found dead on a California beach, officials said.
The body of Christopher Andrew Gibson, 32, was found by a passerby early Tuesday near Stonesteps beach in Encinitas, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
The San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office was still working Friday to determine Gibson’s cause and manner of death — but it is not being treated as a homicide, a spokesman told The Post.
“That one’s going to take a while,” spokesman Donnie Ryan said, adding that it could be up to 45 days before necessary toxicology tests are completed.
It’s unclear where Gibson had been living at the time, Ryan said. His family had been notified of his death, according to the county medical examiner’s office.
San Diego County Sheriff’s Lt. Daniel Vengler told the Union-Tribune Tuesday it appeared the man’s body found on the beach near South El Portal Street and Neptune Avenue had “washed up” onto shore.
Gibson pleaded guilty in 2015 to robbing three San Diego County banks of more than $7,600 in late 2014.
Christopher Andrew Gibson’s body was found on a beach near San Diego.Fox5
Investigators dubbed him the “Bearded Bandit” due to the shaggy facial hair he sported during the first two heists, according to the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California.
Prosecutors said Gibson held up the first bank in San Diego within hours of being released from a San Diego County detention center on unrelated charges.
“I know your training,” Gibson told a bank employee in a paraphrased demand note before making off with more than $1,400, court documents show. “No dye packs. No GPS devices. I want $4,567. Hurry cause I’m not waiting all day.”
A week later, Gibson robbed a second bank in Vista, getting away with $2,240. He then robbed another Chase Bank in Vista in November 2014, taking roughly $4,000, authorities said.
The San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office said it could take nearly a month and a half to find out the cause of death.FBI
In 2015, Gibson was sentenced to nearly six years in prison for the robberies, prosecutors said. He had been in custody since his November 2014 arrest.
After being released from prison, Gibson was charged with escape for not reporting back to a halfway house in December 2019. He was sentenced in January 2020 to 10 months in prison, the Union-Tribune reported.