Image: Nomad Bandit
The "Nomad Bandit" suspect pictured in a handout released by the FBI's Seattle division in July.
updated 10/4/2006 11:46:45 AM ET 2006-10-04T15:46:45

A man sought by the FBI as the Nomad Bandit for 16 bank robberies in Washington, Oregon and Idaho has been arrested, reportedly on a tip from a small-town police chief.

Jeremy Louis Stewart, 28, was arrested Tuesday at his home in Reardan and charged with robbing a U.S. Bank branch in Spokane on Dec. 2, said Laura M. Laughlin, FBI agent in charge in Seattle.

It was not known whether Stewart was represented by a lawyer.

The name of the person who tipped authorities to Stewart’s whereabouts was blacked out in court documents, but federal authorities confirmed it was Gary Redmond, a former Spokane County sheriff’s deputy who is now police chief in Reardan, population about 610, The Spokesman-Review of Spokane reported for Wednesday’s editions.

The newspaper could not reach Redmond for comment late Tuesday.

More charges likely
Stewart remains under investigation in the Nomad Bandit case, named for the wide geographic area in which the robberies occurred over the past 10 months, and additional charges are likely, FBI Agent Roberta A. Burroughs said.

In each case, investigators wrote, the robber always passed a note to bank tellers and often said he had a weapon, although none was ever seen.

The robber typically wore a baseball cap pulled low on his forehead and kept his head down, preventing police from getting a good surveillance camera image of him until one was captured in the last heist in the series, a robbery Sept. 18 at a Bank of America branch in the Seattle suburb of Kent.

That widely distributed photo led to the identification of Stewart, the FBI said.

Investigators wrote in court filings that Stewart told authorities after his arrest that he began robbing banks out of disgust over being assessed $800 in fees for a U.S. Bank account he had a year ago while in jail for an unrelated offense.

“Stewart stated that he tried to have the fees reversed, but U.S. Bank officials would not cooperate or provide him assistance,” according to the court filings.

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