'British Bandit' is arrested (and he's not British)
ST. PAUL -- The "British Bandit," it turns out, is not British.Police arrested a St. Paul man last week in a robbery said to have been committed by a man with a British accent.But when police interviewed John Fredrik Hess after finding him at a S...
ST. PAUL - The “British Bandit,” it turns out, is not British.
Police arrested a St. Paul man last week in a robbery said to have been committed by a man with a British accent.
But when police interviewed John Fredrik Hess after finding him at a St. Paul motel with dye-stained money and a journal detailing several robberies, it was clear he was local.
Hess, 45, was charged in federal court this week with one count of bank robbery for a Feb. 25 robbery at a TCF Bank on Ford Parkway in St. Paul.
At the time of the robbery, police said they were looking for a suspect believed to be connected to several robberies in the Twin Cities. The repeat robber, described in each case as a white male in his 40s, was dubbed the “British Bandit” for the accent he was said to have used in each incident.
Not long after the robbery, St. Paul police and the FBI got reports of a man passing dye-stained currency; they traced the money to Hess. He was arrested last week at a University Avenue motel in St. Paul.
Police found more dye-stained money in Hess’ motel room, along with “a handwritten journal noting the dates and locations of multiple robberies,” the complaint said.
Hess confessed to the Feb. 25 robbery, the complaint said.
At the time of the robbery, law enforcement said the robber was also suspected of robbing a TCF Bank in Minneapolis and four St. Paul gas stations between Feb. 3 and 10. In those cases, the suspect also spoke with a British accent and wielded a gun, telling one cashier to “keep calm” and “hand over the money.”
After St. Paul police arrested Hess last week, they interviewed him and noticed he did not have a British accent, said Sgt. Mike Ernster, a police spokesman.