DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Hispanic leaders in North Texas are stunned that an accused serial bank robber was once one of their own. Luis Delagarza was arrested for the April robbery of a Wells Fargo Bank, but an FBI Task Force also identified him as the ‘Mesh Mask Bandit’ whose hit 19 banks since New Year’s Eve. The ‘Mesh Mask Bandit’ robbed most of his banks in the Carrollton-Farmers Branch-North Dallas area. But they are also just a few blocks away from Delagarza’s home in Farmers Branch, in a community where he made a name for himself pushing for immigration rights. His arrest has left fellow activists, such as Carlos Quintanilla, in shock.
“Luis Delagarza robbed banks, I guess, to deal with his demons, and that’s a sad story,” Quintanilla told CBS 11. Latinos in North Texas may remember Delagarza as an organizer of protests and marches for immigration rights, like one in Irving in 2007. “So he did some amazing things as a community leader, as a businessman, and all of that was just poisoned by him becoming a serial bank robber,” according to Quintanilla.