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Suspect in 'Blue Note Bandit' bank robberies arrested

David Andrew Camp, 50, is from Laguna Niguel.

February 19, 2010|By Erik HolmesOCLNN.com

SANTA ANA – The Blue Note Bandit’s remarkable run is over, authorities said Friday.

After a string of 15 bank robberies in Orange County during a two-and-a-half-month period, including in Costa Mesa, authorities on Wednesday arrested and booked David Andrew Camp, a 50-year-old unemployed salesman from Laguna Niguel, for allegedly committing the crimes.

A team of FBI and Orange County Sheriff’s Department personnel arrested Camp on an unrelated warrant from Los Angeles. He is being held in lieu of $250,000 bail but is in an undisclosed hospital because of an illness.

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“The Blue Note Bandit is one of the most prolific bank robbers in recent Orange County history,” Sheriff Sandra Hutchens said at a press conference Friday. “The combination of intense media coverage, citizen tips and good old-fashioned police work involving 24-hour surveillance were the key factors in the successful apprehension of this individual.”

Authorities were tight-lipped about the evidence against Camp, citing the ongoing investigation. They did not immediately release a photo of Camp, and they would not say how much money he is alleged to have stolen.

They did say he faces severe debt issues and has a criminal history involving fraud, theft and narcotics violations.

The robber became known as the Blue Note Bandit because he sometimes passed notes on blue paper to bank tellers, demanding money and telling them he had a gun.

Acting on a citizen’s tip, the FBI and Sheriff’s Department had Camp under surveillance at his home for an unknown period of time before the arrest. They became convinced he was the robber, so they arrested him when they learned he had an outstanding warrant in L.A. for non-sufficient funds and fraud.

“We had a warrant that we could take him into custody for and then we could continue moving forward with the investigation of the bank robberies,” said FBI Special Agent Chris Gicking.

Neighbors of the suspect said 50 to 75 undercover officers swarmed their neighborhood and had the man spreadeagled on the ground before he was taken into custody, KTLA reported Thursday.

Police received numerous tips from the public after releasing surveillance photos of the suspect robbing banks and announcing a $20,000 reward for information leading to his conviction. They had multiple suspects but narrowed it down to Camp.

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