‘Granddaddy Bandit’ Busted: James Glenn Blythe Robbed 2 Houston Banks, FBI Says

james blythe granddaddy bandit houston

Harris County Jail James Blythe has been identified as the "Granddaddy Bandit" suspect, the Houston FBI says.

James Glenn Blythe Jr. has been identified as the Houston bank robbery suspect dubbed the “Granddaddy Bandit,” the FBI says. Blythe, a 61-year-old Houston resident, was arrested on February 16, 2022, and charged in connection to two bank robberies in the city, the FBI Houston said on Twitter. Blythe has a history of arrests in Harris County and was previously convicted of bank robberies, court documents show.

Blythe, accused of robbing the Texas banks at gunpoint and then fleeing in a Ford F-150 truck, was captured by the FBI Violent Crimes Task Force less than a month after law enforcement put out an alert, including photos from surveillance video, looking for information on him. “We appreciate everyone who shared his photos and submitted tips!” the FBI Houston said in its tweet announcing the arrest. It was not immediately clear if anyone claimed the $5,000 reward being offered for information leading to his arrest.

Blythe is facing two counts of aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon, a first-degree felony, in Harris County court. It was not immediately known if federal charges would be filed against Blythe in addition to the state crimes. There was no record of charges in the Southern District of Texas federal court as of February 21, 2022, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office and FBI could not be reached for comment. Blythe is being held on $20,000 bail and is scheduled to appear in court on February 23, 2022, court records show.

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The 2 Bank Robberies Occurred Hours Apart on January 21, 2022, the FBI Says

james glenn blythe granddaddy bandit houston

Houston FBIThe “Granddaddy Bandit” seen on surveillance video.

According to the FBI, the “Granddaddy Bandit,” now identified as Blythe, tried to rob the Chase Bank on Northwest Freeway in Houston on Friday, January 21, 2022, about 2:15 p.m. The FBI said Blythe walked in, showed a teller a concealed handgun and demanded cash. But the teller didn’t have any access to money, so Blythe walked out empty-handed, police said. Blythe was wearing a COVID face mask and a Texas Tech University hat, the FBI said.

The FBI added, “Next, at approximately 3:45 p.m., the same man is believed to have entered the Capital One Bank, located at 1520 Studemont. He approached the teller counter, told the teller he was committing a bank robbery and demanded cash. The suspect displayed a handgun that was concealed in his backpack. After the teller complied, the ‘Grandaddy Bandit’ ran out of the bank with an undisclosed amount of money.”

Harris County prosecutors said in court documents that Blythe walked up to the tellers and said, “This is a robbery. Give me all your money,” and showed a gun that he had hidden in his backpack. The first teller told Blythe he couldn’t give him any money because he wasn’t logged in, and Blythe left after another teller activated the bank’s silent alarm, according to court documents. At the second bank, Blythe was able to steal $5,110, according to court records. Prosecutors said there was evidence on Blythe’s phone showing his plans for the robberies.

If Blythe is able to post bond, he is barred from going to either of the banks and is not allowed to possess firearms and will be subject to electronic monitoring along with a curfew, according to court records. Blythe is being represented by a public defender who could not be reached for comment by Heavy on Houston. Blythe said in court records he is unemployed and disabled, receiving Supplemental Security Income, and last worked at Amazon.

Blythe Was Sentenced to 7 Years in Prison After Robbing a Bank in 2007, Court Records Show

james blythe granddaddy bandit houston mugshot

Houston FBIJames Blythe in a previous mugshot, right, and the man accused of being the “Granddaddy Bandit.”

James Blythe has a criminal record dating back to at least 1999 that includes stints in jail and prison in Texas, according to records from the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Harris County court. Blythe was arrested by the Palestine Police Department in January 1999 on charges of possession of a controlled substance, a state jail felony, and he was sentenced to 5 years of probation.

In 2000, the Houston Police Department arrested Blythe on a charge of forgery of a financial instrument and misdemeanor theft. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 16 months in jail. In 2001, he was arrested by the Brazoria County Sheriff’s Office on a felony theft charge. He was then sentenced to 10 months in jail.

Blythe was most recently arrested by the Houston Police Department in 2007 on a charge of robbery with threats. According to court documents, Blythe pleaded guilty in 2009 and was sentenced to seven years in prison.

According to prosecutors, Blythe robbed the Washington Mutual Bank at the Fiesta Grocery store on Wirt Road on September 15, 2007. Police said Blythe walked up to the teller, opened a lunch box, held up a gun and told her to give him all her money. The teller said she feared for her life and took the cash from her drawer and gave it to Blythe, who put it into his lunch box alongside the revolver and then “calmly walked out.” Blythe was identified as the suspect in that robbery by the teller and the bank’s assistant manager, court records show.

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