Fishing Hat Bandit Offers Up Souvenir ToCaptor

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EDINA, Minn. - (09/15/05) -- Dean Wickstrom, the president ofReal Financial Center CU who helped bag the state's most prolificbank robber earlier this year, probably won't receive the $50,000FBI reward for his role because employees of credit unions andbanks are generally ineligible. But Wickstrom, who tracked theserial robber after he hit his credit union last January, thencalled police to alert them of the robber's hiding place, did comeaway with a souvenir for his troubles--an autographed copy of theheadgear of the eponymous Fishing Hat Bandit. Wickstrom had askedthe bandit, John Whitrock for the famous hat itself, but was toldthe FBI was holding on to it because it was evidence in a crime. SoWhitrock, the 57-year-old responsible for 20-something credit unionrobberies, sent along a facsimile hat that he had autographed.Whitrock, sentenced Tuesday to 15 years in jail, wore his famousfishing hat in most of the robberies, earning him the nickname, theFishing Hat Bandit.

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