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MailTribune.com
  • Man suspected of PremierWest bank robbery arrested in Arizona

    Medford police say Dustin Michael Burt, 28, was arrested by Arizona State Police officers in connection with California heists
  • For Medford police, it's one unsolved bank robbery down and two more to go after a man suspected of robbing a PremierWest branch on March 14 was arrested in Arizona.
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  • For Medford police, it's one unsolved bank robbery down and two more to go after a man suspected of robbing a PremierWest branch on March 14 was arrested in Arizona.
    Dustin Michael Burt, 28, was arrested by Arizona State Police on March 17. Police have tied him to at least two bank robberies in California along with the robbery of the PremierWest Bank branch on East McAndrews Road.
    Burt was a passenger in the car when the trooper pulled it over for a traffic violation, police said.
    Burt gave the trooper a fictitious name, Jermaine Franks, police said. His story soon unraveled, however, and he was lodged in jail near Phoenix, Ariz., on robbery warrants out of Madera and Contra Costa counties in California.
    Medford police Lt. Bob Hansen said it could take some time before Burt is extradited to Jackson County.
    "This will be a lengthy process getting him back here because there are so many jurisdictions involved and several crimes," Hansen said.
    Hansen speculated that Burt most likely will appear in California for the alleged robberies there before he is shipped to Medford.
    Medford investigators believe Burt entered the PremierWest branch the morning of March 14 and demanded money from a teller. No weapon was displayed.
    The robber fled the bank and was last seen jumping a fence near Wilson Elementary School. The school was placed on precautionary lockdown for close to an hour as police scoured the area.
    Police also are looking for a black woman driving a black Cadillac who came to the bank an hour earlier and who was reported to have acted suspiciously.
    Hansen said this woman could have been Burt's getaway driver for the robbery.
    Burt apparently was passing through Southern Oregon when the robbery occurred and does not have any known family in the area, Hansen said.
    "We do think he might have family in Arizona," Hansen said.
    The FBI is interviewing Burt about his alleged involvement in the robberies. The case could be settled in federal court, Hansen said.
    Burt's arrest leaves Medford police with two open bank robbery cases.
    A gun-wielding man made off with a significant amount of cash from the Key Bank at the corner of Black Oak Drive and Barnett Road in Medford on Jan. 27. The robber fled on bicycle and Medford police suspect he might have rode to a four-wheel-drive Dodge pickup.
    In addition, a Sterling Savings Bank branch on McAndrews Road in Medford was hit in November of 2010.
    That suspect brandished a silver-colored handgun and shouted at employees and customers. He stuffed an undisclosed amount of money into a green bag and ran from the bank, police said.
    Medford police do not comment on the amount of cash taken during robberies. FBI statistics show that banks are where robbers get the biggest hauls. In 2009, the average loss in a bank robbery nationwide was $4,029, according to the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting Program. The average for all robberies was $1,244.
    Anyone with information on any of these robberies is asked to call Medford police detectives at 541-774-2230.
    Reach reporter Chris Conrad at 541-776-4471 or email cconrad@mailtribune.com.
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