82nd Avenue bank serial stick-up robber captured

East Portland bank tellers are breathing easier, now that the man officials say committed armed robbery four times there in the last year, is in custody …

The man accused of multiple, armed bank robberies started here, at the Eastport Plaza US Bank branch, a year ago.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

For reasons yet to be revealed, a young Asian male developed the habit of robbing banks along SE 82nd Avenue of Roses within the last year.

The first occasion was a little more than a year ago, on November 20, 2013, at the Chase Bank located inside the Johnson Creek Fred Meyer. The suspect, an Asian male, threatened to shoot the bank teller, and escaped with an undisclosed amount of money.

Police set out to catch a man, who they say, has become a serial bank robber.

The suspect again took up armed robbery along the 82nd a few weeks ago, on November 28, this time robbing the US Bank at a similar manner.

He struck again the next day down the street in Happy Valley, at the US Bank at 82nd and SE Causey Avenue.

One Portland Police Bureau East Precinct car remains at the Fred Meyer Foster Road store to take a report, after an armed robber got cash from the Chase Bank inside the store and ran out. Eight other police units, joined by other police agencies, combed nearby streets, looking for the robber.

Then, on Thursday, December 4, the armed suspect strolled into the north entrance of the Fred Meyer store on SE 82nd and SE Foster at about 12:30 p.m., walked into the Chase Bank branch, brandished a handgun, and walked out, into a downpour, with an undisclosed amount of cash.

Portland Police Bureau East Precinct district cars converged on the location, then took off throughout the neighborhood searching for the suspect. Detectives from the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office joined in the hunt.

Forensic evidence recovered from the first of the robberies had tentatively identified the suspect as 27-year-old Narong Duangchathom, of Portland.

Other agencies were looking for Duangchathom as well, including the US Marshal Fugitive Task Force – which was investigating him for multiple counts of Identity Theft – and the FBI Safe Streets Task Force was too.

Under arrest, in this case is, 27-year-old Narong Duangchathom. Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office booking photo

Members of the US Marshal Fugitive Task Force located Duangchathom and took him into custody at the Wal-Mart on SE 82nd Avenue near Otty Road.

Evidence related to the latest bank robbery was recovered from Duangchathom when he was arrested at 2:20 p.m., shortly after the last armed robbery of which he is suspected. Detectives from the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office and Portland Police Bureau responded, and took over the investigation.

Duangchathom was booked into the Clackamas County Jail at 6:50 p.m. for his outstanding ID Theft warrants, and his bank robbery warrant, which carries federal penalties.

© 2014 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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