Last week, we told you about Arthur Bittner, the man who had just been busted for not quite robbing a bank in Aurora on February 25. He may not have been as inept a criminal as it initially appeared; police now believe him to be the H1N1 Bandit, suspected in several other successful bank robberies.
But before he ever earned the HiN1 moniker (for telling bank staff he had to wear a bandanna over his face because he had swine flu), Bittner, 52, was an Aurora police officer.
The Aurora Police Department confirms that Bittner, who was busted while in possession of a loaded shotgun and a robbery note he allegedly slipped to a teller, served as an Aurora patrol officer for more than a decade. He was a member of the force from February 11, 1980 , until December 5, 1990, at which point he resigned, reportedly following allegations involving illegal narcotics.
"That came to mind as if there was some sort of narcotics violation in the past," said Aurora Deputy Chief of Police Terry Jones, who admits the allegations from twenty years ago are a bit fuzzy. "He hasn't changed much -- I can tell you that."
Police in Denver and Aurora have linked Bittner to three Denver bank robberies in December and two attempted robbers in February. He is facing multiple counts of bank robbery, which can net up to twenty years in prison per conviction.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Westword's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Denver's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
Looks like he got caught up in a little game of cops and robbers. It's all fun and games until someone ends up in prison.