Crime

Somebody stop that cleverly named bandit!

It's been a big week for local robbers with snazzy names. On Tuesday, the FBI announced it was looking for a scofflaw they'd named the $83 Bandit, since the bank notes he's used to rob eight Denver area banks since March often included odd numbers that have the numeral 3 in them. On that same day, a twelfth bank was hit by a local serial robber dubbed the Shaggy Bandit, since he resembles Shaggy from Scooby Doo. As Scooby would say, "Ruh roh!"

As we noted in a story last year about the FBI's Rocky Mountain Safe Streets Task Force, the Denver-based squad charged with catching bank robbers, investigators come up with vivid bandit names in order to keep robbers straight and the public interested. It also doesn't hurt that the moniker-bestowing folks at Safe Streets are a colorful bunch themselves.

To see more examples of law enforcement's literary creativity, check out the Colorado Association of Robbery Investigators' list of unidentified bandits. The motley crew includes sassy-sounding Double Talkin' Bandits, the no-nonsense Tec 9 Bandit and the poetic pièce de résistance, the Southpaw Outlaw. Just don't get any ideas. While theoretically it would be pretty cool to score a bad-ass bandit name like these by sticking up a few banks, it ain't worth spending a few years in the clinker.

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Joel Warner is a former staff writer for Westword and International Business Times. He's also written for WIRED, Men's Journal, Men's Health, Bloomberg Businessweek, Popular Science, Slate, Grantland and many other publications. He's co-author of the 2014 book The Humor Code: A Global Search for What Makes Things Funny, published by Simon & Schuster.
Contact: Joel Warner