EUGENE — The FBI has arrested a bank robbery suspect with Rogue Valley roots it dubbed the "Tall Man" during a string of six recent holdups in the Eugene-Springfield area.
The FBI said 25-year-old Chet Evans was picked up Thursday morning in north Portland. He's described as 6-foot-2 and 185 pounds.
Tellers say he's nervous and shaking during the stickups.
The Register-Guard reported that investigators got a tip from a parole officer that Evans resembled published pictures of the robber.
They found he'd been staying at a Eugene hotel, but a woman who identified herself as his girlfriend said he'd left. Medford police Sgt. Brent Mak said the department issued news releases to local banks Thursday morning when they learned the suspect had ties to Medford and Ashland.
"We just wanted to give the banks a heads-up that this guy might be in the area," Mak said.
One bank employee believed Evans was using an ATM in Medford and called the police.
"We contacted the person and quickly realized that this wasn't the suspect," Mak said.
Evans has lived in Ashland and Medford in the recent past. He is well known to local police, Mak said.
"He has several arrests here," Mak said.
Medford police Chief Tim George said Evans has a warrant out for his arrest in Jackson County. The warrant stems from a previous drug charge.
It's not uncommon for bank robbers to hit several locations before they're caught, George said.
"The do that first one and realize it's easy money," George said. "They get that short-lived adrenaline rush and do another and another until they get caught."
George said that locally bank robbery is a crime with a high solve rate.
"We might not arrest them here, but they usually turn up in another city or state doing the same thing," George said. "Either way, they usually get caught."
The most recent robbery was Monday. Four of the banks were in grocery or department stores.