March 23rd, 2010
11:37 AM ET

Reward increases for "grandpa bandit"





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Gabriel Falcon
AC360° Writer

The bounty has been raised in the pursuit of a serial bank robber known as the "grandpa bandit."

A reward of $15,000 is being offered to anyone with information that could lead to the arrest of the suspect, the Portland Division of the FBI announced today.

He is thought to be responsible for at least six hold-ups in Oregon that began in October. The most recent heist was last Thursday with the robbery of a Bank of America branch in Medford, the FBI said.
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"He's a typical bank robber," FBI spokesperson Beth Anne Steele told CNN. "He walks in quietly. demands cash, gets his cash and leaves."

The suspect did not have a weapon in 5 of the robberies, Steele said. But the FBI believes in a sixth incident he "threatened to kill a teller as he showed her a weapon in his waistband."

"Any bank robbery has the potential to be dangerous and that is something we will certainly look at, Steele said. "Is he the most dangerous bank robber out there? No. But could he be a threat? Yes."

While many bank robbers don disguises, masks or hoods, the "grandpa bandit" does not appear to be attempting to conceal his identity. Surveillance images offer strikingly clear photographs of the individual who often wears eyeglasses, a hat and a light jacket.[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/03/23/art.vert.grandpabandit4.jpg width=292 height=320]
The pictures also reveal why the FBI gave him his nickname.

"The typical bank robber is in his 20s or 30s," Steele said. "So when you are looking at someone in his 50s or 60s it's a little bit unusual."

Steele would not speculate on the motives for the heists. But she said most bank robbers in Oregon have drug abuse issues. "We won't know if that's the case here until we catch him and interview him," she said.
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About 70 percent of the suspects are apprehended, Steele added. She is confident the "grandpa bandit" will soon be found.

The suspect is described as 5'8" to-5'10", weighing 160-180 pounds and having gray hair.

Anyone with information is asked to call the FBI in Medford at (541) 773-2942.

Filed under: Crime & Punishment • Gabe Falcon
soundoff (One Response)
  1. Tom from Vermillion, Ohio

    Aw...heck, he's just trying to make his credit card, mortgage and hospital bill payments. The bill collectors are obviously waiting out in the parking lot.

    March 23, 2010 at 1:28 pm |