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CrimeStoppers gets 50-60 calls on the ‘backpack bandit’

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Following an all-out media blitz by the law enforcement community yesterday, CrimeStoppers received between 50 and 60 telephone calls today from people claiming to have knowledge of the so-called "backpack bandit."

Sgt. Kim Buffett, CrimeStoppers coordinator, said about 40 of the calls are considered leads that are being followed through with by police detectives.

The FBI joined Honolulu police in asking public assistance to locate a suspect believed to have committed at least four bank robberies since March – twice at a bank in Kunia and one each at two Kalihi financial institutions.

The suspect is believed to be in his 30s, about 5 feet 5 inches tall and weighing about 190 pounds. He is being nicknamed the "backpack bandit" because in each of the four cases, he has thrown down his backpack at a teller window and pulled out a gun to demand money from a teller.

The FBI is offering a $10,000 reward to add to CrimeStoppers’ $1,000 reward. While the reward for a CrimeStoppers tip can be given anonymously, a source will have to be able to provide a name to the FBI in order for that award to be collected, Buffett said.

Anyone with information is asked to call CrimeStoppers at 955-8300.

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