Happening nearby: Lynnwood Police assist in capture of suspected serial bank robber

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The suspect is a white man in his early 20s, wearing a black V-neck sweater over a collared shirt. (File photo courtesy Lynnwood Police)

A man connected to several bank robberies in western Washington and Oregon over the past few months, including an Umpqua Bank in Lynnwood, was captured earlier this week thanks to a citizen tip and the work of a Lynnwood Police detective.

Photos of Caleb Dierlam, the 20-year-old suspect, were posted on various media outlets after he was seen on surveillance video taking money from the Umpqua Bank located at 19230 Alderwood Mall Pkwy in July.

“Earlier this month, an astute citizen at a Lynnwood Starbucks believed he saw the suspect from these photographs inside the same Starbucks,” Lynnwood Police spokesman Sgt. Sean Doty said.

The citizen contacted police, who contacted the suspect, but an arrest was not made at that time.

“Within a few days, lead Detective J. Arnett developed probable cause for the individual’s arrest regarding our Umpqua Bank robbery and he was taken into custody from his residence in Mill Creek without incident,” Doty said. He was arrested on Wednesday, Dec. 14.

The suspect, nicknamed the Harry Potter Bandit, was booked into the Snohomish County Jail for probable cause in the Lynnwood bank robbery. However, investigators with the FBI transferred him to federal custody on Monday, Dec. 20 in connection to a string of other robberies, including two in Oregon and three others in Washington. However, his connection to those robberies is still being investigated.

At his arraignment on Tuesday, Dec. 20 in a Seattle federal court, Dierlam was charged with three counts of bank robbery.

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