Trio of bank hold-ups shut down Hazelwood-neighborhood streets

The FBI is asking for help finding a man they suspect of being a serial bank robber. See what we found out about the October 8th crime wave …

One of the triple robberies of October 8 was here – at the Fred Meyer Employee Credit Union, across the street from Midland Regional Library.

The crime wave actually started two days earlier, on October 6th, when officials say a man attempted to rob this Key Bank branch in the Gateway Shopping Center.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
We may never know if the recent wave of bank stick-ups is related in any way to the faltering economy. We do know that four financial institutions – three banks, and two credit unions – were almost robbed or actually held up. And, three of the incidents occurred within one hour on October 8.

We listened to the jumble of calls coming over the police radios, and asked Portland Police Bureau (PPB) spokesman Sgt. Brian Schmautz if he could help us untangle the stories. “These are bank robbery investigations, conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation,” Schmautz explained. He added that while the police assists the FBI during these events, these are federal crimes, and he is not permitted to comment on them.

Another of the October 8th robberies took place at this Fred Meyer Employee Federal Credit Union office near Midland Library.

Credit union suspects corralled, but not arrested
We listened, as PPB officers tracked a stash of cash – containing a hidden transmitter – taken from the Fred Meyer Employee Federal Credit Union on SE Morrison Street, just north of the Midland Regional Library.

Officers followed the moving money to an apartment complex about a block south, on SE 122nd Avenue, abutting the library’s parking lot. As police moved in, the avenue was shut down between SE Stark and Mill Streets for nearly two hours.

The day after the incident, Midland Regional Library’s manager, Javier Gutierrez, told us, “Police officers told us to lock our doors and not let anyone in or out.” He said that police officers swarmed around the apartment buildings to the south of the library’s parking lot.

Witnesses say police shut down SE 122nd Avenue while they encouraged the surrender of two robbery suspects in an apartment in this small compex, just south of the library.

From what we learned after the incident, from people who say they witnessed it, the police focused their attention – and weapons – on one particular apartment for just under an hour, before one man surrendered. Shortly thereafter, another suspect exited the dwelling.

Both suspects were detained while cops searched the apartment for evidence. As of October 10, according to FBI spokesperson Beth Anne Steele, no one was arrested in the Fred Meyer Employee Federal Credit Union robbery.

An accused bank robber in custody
Another robbery on that afternoon took place at the US Bank branch on 12203 NE Glisan St. about 4:25 p.m.

Officials from the FBI say this man, Jheraun Alexander Dunlap, was taken into custody in connection with the robbery at the US Bank branch on NE Glisan St.

The FBI’s Steele told us 25-year-old Jheraun Alexander Dunlap was arrested in connection with this case, but gave no other details of the alleged crime.

FBI searches for “Mullet Man”
Typically, the FBI is tight-lipped about bank robbery investigations. However, their spokesperson, Beth Anne Steele, asked for help identifying and locating a man responsible for two bank robberies and three attempted bank robberies in the Portland-Vancouver metro area this week.

The man, nicknamed “Mullet Man” by the FBI because of his appearance, attempted his first robbery in Portland on Monday October 6 at the Key Bank located at 1205 NE 102nd Avenue. The same day, officials say he actually succeeded in robbing a Wells Fargo Bank branch in Tualatin.

Have you seen “Mullet Man”? If so, contact the FBI immediately!

“Mullet Man” is also wanted in connection with attempted or successful robberies of Bank of America branches in Vancouver and Portland, and the IBEW Federal Credit Union in the Mall 205 area.

In several of the robberies or attempts, including the Key Bank in Portland and the Bank of America in Vancouver, he wore what looks (on surveillance video) like a long-haired wig. Witnesses describe him as a white man in his mid-40’s with a slender build (about 160 pounds), and is about 5’9″ tall. On several occasions, he wore a blue Nike baseball cap as well.

Anyone with information is asked to call the FBI in Portland at (503) 224-4181 twenty-four hours a day, or the FBI in Vancouver at (360) 695-5661 during normal business hours.

© 2008 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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