FBI man who nicknames bank robbers

By | January 5, 2009

FBI man who nicknames bank robbers

Along with 2008’s near-record number of local bank robberies—276 at current count, and delayed reports could still bring the total close to 2006’s tally of 284—arose an unusual problem: coming up with all those nicknames.

With so many robberies to sort through, christening each serial robber—those wanted for at least 3 heists—with a unique and memorable name was more of a challenge than usual, said Chicago FBI spokesman Ross Rice, who assigns the names.

“It’s actually one of the more trying parts of the job,” Rice said.  … For the first time, he was forced to resort to sequels. After two unrelated bank robbers chose a Kangol hat as their distinguishing characteristic of choice, the second was saddled with the derivative moniker of “The Kangol Bandit 2.”

A memorable nickname draws media and public interest that helps the FBI identify and track the wanted parties, Rice said. Last summer, Michael Staadt —known as the Groucho Bandit for wearing a fake mustache during robberies —was arrested outside a bar after employees recognized him from a Tribune article.

But finding an appropriate nickname is sometimes easier than explaining the robber’s choice of disguise.

“Most robbers don’t want to get caught,” Rice said, “and there are some disguises that are more effective than others. But what the process is to come up with some of these disguises, I couldn’t even begin to answer that.”

via Could you put a handle on them? — chicagotribune.com.

Who could forget the thong th thong thong thong bandits?  (Photo added above)

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