March 12th, 2010 5:33 pm | by HANK STERN News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, Cops and Courts

Beware The "Chia Pet Bandit"

Bank robbery suspect

Somebody at the FBI's Portland office has taken a good PR class. The agency is attaching nicknames to suspects that are like catnip to media.

I mean, labeling a bank robbery suspect the "Chia Pet Bandit" because, as the FBI press release below says, "his hair can be spiky like the plant growth on the popular toy"? Brilliant.

The FBI is asking for the public's assistance in identifying and locating the "Chia Pet Bandit," who is believed responsible for three bank robberies in the metro area in less than a month. Agents nicknamed him the Chia Pet Bandit because his hair can be spiky like the plant growth on the popular toy. In addition, the Oregon Financial Institutions Security Task Force (FIST) is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of this serial robber.

In each case, the man walked into the bank, demanded cash and left on foot. Witnesses describe him as a white man, 30-40 years old, 175-180 pounds, thin build with sunken cheeks.

Investigators believe he is responsible for the following robberies:

  • February 18, 2010 – Bank of America, 8315 SE Sunnyside Road, Clackamas

  • February 25, 2010 – Chase Bank, 1875 Blankenship Road, West Linn

  • March 11, 2010 – US Bank, 7755 SW Nyberg Road, Tualatin

FIST is a cooperative effort made up of representatives from banks, savings and loans, and credit unions, as well as representatives from local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies. The purpose of FIST is to help reduce crimes.

The FBI is working with the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office, the West Linn Police Department, and the Tualatin Police Department to indentify this serial bank robber. Anyone with information is asked to contact one of those police agencies or the FBI 24 hours a day at (503) 224-4181.

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