$20,000 Question: Who Gets Bandit'sBounty?
EDINA, Minn. - (01/13/05) -- Law enforcement officials werewondering this week just who to give the $20,000 reward promised bythe FBI for information leading to the Fishing Hat Bandit. Robberyrewards are usually awarded to outside tipsters who call in theidentity or locations of robbery suspects. But the obvious choiceis Real Financial CU (formerly Realtors CU) manager Dean Wickstromwho chased down the robber after he fled his credit union lastFriday morning and tracked him down, before calling police to letthem know where to find Minnesota's most prolific bank robber.Edina Police Sgt. Scott Kuyper called Wickstrom a hero and saidadmitted they would have caught the bandit without his help. "Hisactions were critical, otherwise we would never have found him (therobber)," Sgt. Kuyper told The Credit Union Journal. Wickstrom saidhe never even considered the reward when he took off in a footchase after the thief. Soon after his capture the robber,identified as 56-year-old John Whitrock confessed to 19 robberiesover the past 18 months, all but two of them at credit unions.Whitrock is being held without bail pending a grand jury indictmentwithin 30 days, according to the FBI.