CU Manager Reels In Trophy For HelpingCatch Fishing Hat Bandit

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EDINA, Minn. - (06/14/05) -- Call it a consolation prize, if youwill. Dean Wickstrom, the president of Real Financial Centers CU,won't be seeing the $50,000 reward offered for his role in thecapture of the state's most prolific bank robber because employeesare not eligible for the prize. But Wickstrom, who helped trackdown the man responsible for as many as 25 credit union robberiesover a two-year period may end up with a prize anyway--anautographed replica of the robber's trademark fishing hat, worn inmany of the hold-ups. Wickstrom, who helped track the bandit forauthorities after the January robbery at his credit union, recentlyreceived a letter from jail the bandit, John Whitrock. In it the57-year-old serial robber apologized for scaring Wickstrom'stellers and offering an autographed replica of his signaturefishing hat. The man dubbed the Fishing Hat Bandit had read in thelocal newspaper about Wickstrom's request for the hat fromauthorities, who turned him down because the hat is evidence.Whitrock, who never showed a gun, pleaded guilty last month to 21counts of bank robbery and one count of attempted robbery and isbeing held in the county jail while awaiting sentencing.

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