A so-called polite robber in Seattle got national attention this week when he profusely thanked and apologized to his victim. The gas-station owner who was robbed at gunpoint posted a surveillance video of the incident that went viral on the Web. Now the Seattle Times reports that suspect Gregory Paul Hess gave the same sob story about being out of work and needing cash for rent and food nearly eight years ago when he was arrested for a string of bank robberies.
Hess, 65, was identified by people who saw the surveillance video. Hess was identified by former co-workers in 2003 after the Seattle Times published a photograph of a bank robber the FBI had nicknamed the “Transaction Bandit.” In that case he pleaded guilty in 2004 and was sentenced to nearly five years in federal prison. The robber said on the video he needed money to feed his kids, but the King County sheriff’s office said Hess wasn’t living with any children at the time of his arrest. “Let’s not turn this guy into Robin Hood,” said Sgt. John Urquhart.