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Court documents show 'Loan Ranger Bandit' served prison time for 2001 bank robbery

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Eric Swicegood, "The Loan Ranger Bandit" Eric Swicegood, "The Loan Ranger Bandit"
"The Loan Ranger Bandit" 2012 bank surveillance video "The Loan Ranger Bandit" 2012 bank surveillance video
TYLER, TX (KLTV) - The bank robbery suspect known around the country as "The Loan Ranger Bandit" was convicted in 2001 for robbing a Dallas bank.

Federal court documents show Richard Swicegood was sentenced to 78 months in prison for that robbery and had to pay more than $40,000 in restitution. He also had to serve three years of supervised release. Records show during those three years is when he robbed The Summit Bank in Benton, Arkansas for the first time. 

Swicegood is accused of robbing The Summit Bank in 2009, kicking off what officials are calling a five-year multi-state crime spree. Swicegood is accused of robbing banks all over Arkansas, Mississippi, Kentucky and Texas. Among those robberies, two were in Tyler. 

The Tyler Police Department has been following "The Loan Ranger Bandit" ever since he hit the Tyler Altra Federal Credit Union in 2011 and the Compass Bank on South Broadway in 2012. 

"He has no fear someone around here will recognize him or knows him," said Doyle Lynch with the Tyler Police Department back in 2012.

You might not recognize him when you compare Swicegood's mug shot to the picture taken from a Tyler security camera in 2012. Swicegood now has long hair and a beard, but one thing is consistent; officers say he never hid his face during a robbery. 

"The amazing thing was because he never used a disguise, he was pretty easy to recognize and it's just beyond us that no one ever turned him in," said Don Martin, public relations officer for The Tyler Police Department. 

Amazing because it turns out Swicegood is from Waxahachie, around 100 miles from four of the banks he is accused of robbing. In July 2013, the FBI offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to his arrest. 

"Somebody knows who this individual is, there's no doubt, so we hope this will bring them forward," said Chief Gary Swindle of The Tyler Police Department in 2013.

Still, the man dubbed "The Loan Ranger Bandit" for his Texas Rangers hat and his history of robbing banks that deal with loans, was not identified until Wednesday afternoon. 

"I think luck was on his side that no one ever saw him get into a vehicle. He always fled the scene on foot and then from there he disappeared," said Martin. 

On Tuesday, someone outside of The Summit Bank in Benton saw Swicegood get into a red Mustang. He was later arrested in the same vehicle. 

"It's just relief. Everybody is relieved he is finally caught and we don't have to worry about him coming back," says Brad Farr, branch manager at Altra Federal Credit Union in Tyler. 

They finally know the name and fate of the notorious "Loan Ranger Bandit."

Swicegood is charged with 11 counts of aggravated robbery, three counts of property theft and one count of using another person's property to commit a crime. 

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