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Saturday, May 8, 2004



‘Uncle’ now up to
7 bank heists

The suspect is a quite average-looking man
who somehow has eluded public notice


Police were busy last night chasing a lead about a serial bank robbery suspect who they say has been hard to catch because of his nondescript looks.


art
CRIMESTOPPERS
Police are looking for a suspect who has allegedly robbed seven banks since last summer. This image was taken April 5 at the Liliha branch of American Savings Bank.


The man is suspected in seven robberies since last summer, according to police. Despite publicizing several surveillance photos of him, police said no one has come forward to say they recognize him.

Part of the problem, police said, is that the suspect is an average-looking male who does not stand out in a crowd.

"He looks like every neighbor that you have," said CrimeStoppers Detective Letha DeCaires. "He looks like somebody's uncle from across the street."

The "uncle" bank robber made his latest "withdrawal" yesterday from the Kapahulu branch of First Hawaiian Bank, police said.

As in every other robbery he is suspected of committing, he walked into the bank, passed a note to the teller saying that he was armed and demanded money, then walked away. Police have been unable to recover his fingerprints from the seven banks.

"He doesn't do anything to draw attention to himself," DeCaires said. "He's calm, and he's careful not to leave a lot of forensic evidence behind."

Robbery detectives were checking on a lead last night, but by 9 p.m. there was no word on an arrest.

"We're very busy," said lead Detective Derrick Kiyotoki.

Besides the Kapahulu robbery, the man is suspected in six other bank robberies, mostly in Kalihi and Liliha. They are the Kalihi branch of American Savings Bank on Wednesday, the Liliha branch of First Hawaiian Bank on April 30, the McCully branch of American Savings Bank on April 22, the Kalihi branch of Central Pacific Bank on April 17, the Liliha branch of American Savings Bank on April 5 and the Hawaii National Bank on Lagoon Drive on Aug. 1.

The suspect is described as in his late 40s to early 50s, about 5 feet 9 inches tall, with a heavy build, black hair and tan complexion. He also usually wears a baseball cap, and has been seen with a Washington Redskins cap, a "Hang Loose" cap and a cap with the letter "P" on it.

Anyone with any information about the suspect is asked to call Kiyotoki at 529-3436. Anonymous callers can contact CrimeStoppers at 955-8300 or by dialing *CRIME on a cellular phone.

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