PORTLAND, Ore. – A seemingly simple mistake helped police catch a suspect they believe pulled off several bank robberies, including two in the Puget Sound region.
On Monday, Andrew Frank Laviguer, 57, robbed the Wells Fargo branch on 11th Avenue in Portland, Ore., police spokesman Sgt. Pete Simpson said. But during the robbery, he apparently left his car keys in the bank.
Since he couldn’t drive away, Simpson said he instead fled into a nearby office building where officers quickly caught up and arrested him.
Laviguer showed tellers a gun during the robbery, although officers later discovered it was a replica, Simpson said.
As investigators took a closer look at Laviguer, they realized he was also connected to several other robberies. Police say he is the primary suspect in the following heists:
- An Aug. 14 robbery at Columbia Bank on NE Halsey Street in Portland in which neighbors found currency from the robbery scattered in their yard.
- An Aug. 30 robbery at a Key Bank in the Seattle area
- A Sept. 4 robbery at a Sterling Savings Bank in Tacoma.
- A Sept. 7 robbery at a Super 8 Motel in Wilsonville, Ore.
- A Sept. 8 robbery at a Rodeway Inn in Salem, Ore.
Portland detectives worked with the FBI and law enforcement agencies around the Pacific Northwest to connect the dots on these cases.
Laviguer is currently being held at the Multnomah County Jail on a previous arrest warrant. Local and federal officials are still sorting out exactly which additional charges he will face and where.