Fishing Hat Bandit Gives CEO Souvenir

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Dean Wickstrom, the president of Real Financial Center Credit Union who helped bag the state's most prolific bank robber earlier this year, probably won't receive the $50,000 FBI reward for his role because employees of credit unions and banks are generally ineligible.

But Wickstrom, who tracked the serial robber after he hit his credit union last January, then called police to alert them of the robber's hiding place, did come away with a souvenir for his troubles-an autographed copy of the headgear of the eponymous Fishing Hat Bandit.

Wickstrom had asked the bandit, John Whitrock for the famous hat itself, but was told the FBI was holding on to it because it was evidence in a crime.

So Whitrock, the 57-year-old responsible for 20-something credit union robberies, sent along a facsimile hat that he had autographed. Whitrock, sentenced to 15 years in jail, wore his famous fishing hat in most of the robberies, earning him the nickname, the Fishing Hat Bandit.

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