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Comments & Curiosities: Giving some bank robbers a bad name

July 24, 2010|By Peter Buffa

There is something about Newport-Mesa they just love. Not people, bank robbers. If there is anywhere else on this earth that thinks it can compete with Newport Beach and Costa Mesa for the "Bank Robberies Per Capita" award, I say bring it on.

At about 9:20 a.m. Friday, the Citibank at 3021 E. Coast Hwy. was robbed by a suspect the FBI has dubbed the "Ho-Hum Bandit." I think that's cold, but we'll get back to that in a moment. Here is the believe-it-or-not part: not only was the same bank robbed just six weeks ago, on June 11, but Newport Beach police and the FBI believe the robber was…wait for it…the Ho-Hum Bandit. Apparently, bank robbers are like the rest of us — when they find a bank they like, they stick with it.

The FBI said they picked the Ho-Hum Bandit nickname because his features are "bland" and his manner is "unassuming." Ouch. Just because someone is a bank robber doesn't mean they don't have feelings. They described the suspect as a white man in his 30s, about 5-foot-8, with a thin build.

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OK, it's not a lot to work with, but what about "The Thin Man"? Or "The Five-Eight Bandit?" Either of those would work. Then again I guess Ho-Hum Bandit is no worse than what they called Amir Saadat, who robbed an impressive 23 Southern California banks in 2005, including three in Newport Beach. The FBI dubbed Saadat the "Big Nose Bandit," which is pretty self-explanatory.

The other problem for the Ho-Hummer is that if you're going to start a bank robbing business in Newport-Mesa, you're joining a long line of standout, stylish bank robbers who have set a high bar for lowlife's, like David Andrew Camp, the "Blue Note Bandit," who was caught in February of this year and specialized in robbing banks in supermarkets, which makes sense I guess. If you have to go to the store anyway, you may as well rob the bank while you're there.

He got his nickname because of the bright blue paper he used for the obligatory note to the teller. See? That's what we're looking for in a bank robber around here. If you have to knock over a bank, stop by Papyrus first and get some 32-pound powder blue note cards. Make sure they're not monogrammed though. Just because you're being bad doesn't mean you shouldn't look good.

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