Manhunt on for ‘Bad Tan’ bank bandit

See why officials say this crook didn’t quite make a ‘clean’ getaway from his felonious deed …

Police roll in to the Bank of the West branch, at the corner of SE 82nd Avenue and SE Division Street, to investigate a mid-afternoon stickup.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Perhaps to bolster his sagging self-confidence, or maybe just as a disguise, a man accused of robbing the Bank of the West branch located at 8135 SE Division Street on May 15 apparently decided to apply a spray-on “tan” before he pulled his heist.

But, it seems his vanity could help make the robber easier to identify.

The bank branch remains closed for the afternoon, as employees and witnesses are interviewed by investigators.

About 3:00 p.m. that afternoon, Portland Police Bureau (PPB) East Precinct officers responded to the small bank, at the edge of Portland Community College SE Center at SE 82nd Avenue of Roses.

“The suspect had an orange Band Aid on his nose, and appeared to have an artificial tan color on his skin,” said PPB Public Information Officer Sgt. Pete Simpson. “He’s been dubbed the ‘Bad Tan Bandit’.”

Across the street, at Banner Discount Furniture, an officer looks for evidence, while others talk with witnesses in the store.

It is possible that the “dye pack” taken along with other stacks of cash exploded on the sidewalk, just east of SE 81st Avenue along Division Street, staining the robber and his clothing. Inset: According to the FBI website, this is a sample of a “dye pack” used to help capture bank robbers. FBI image

Talking with bank employees, Simpson continued, responding officers learned that the suspect had demanded money, and was slipped a “dye pack” by the cashier along with an undisclosed amount of money.

“The dye pack exploded, and the suspect is believed to have red ink on his body and clothing,” Simpson added.

Apparently, employees at the furniture store on the south side of SE Division Street got a good look at the fleeing robber, and told police that he was picked up by a green Ford Explorer, perhaps having beige trim.

Several vehicles matching the description in the area were spotted – and some were stopped – but none of them turned out to be the getaway vehicle.

A surveillance camera captures an image of the oddly-colored man wanted in connection with this bank robbery.

“The suspect is described as a white male, 40-50 years old, 5’6″ tall, thin build, short blonde or light brown hair, wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and blue jeans,” described Simpson. And, chances are, he’ll having you seeing red.

Anyone with knowledge about this suspect, now being called by police the “Bad Tan Bandit”, is asked to call 9-1-1. Anyone with non-urgent information about the suspect or the robbery is asked to contact Detective Brett Hawkinson at (503) 823-1080 or

© 2013 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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