Alibis clear 'Waddling Bandit' suspect

Dec. 19, 2007 at 1:58 PM

EUGENE, Ore., Dec. 19 (UPI) -- Electronic alibis have spared a 71-year-old Oregon man suspected of being a serial bank robber dubbed "The Waddling Bandit" from prosecution.

Robert Christie, 71, was under investigation by the FBI for as many as 20 bank robberies in the past two years in which the bandit was described as having a waddling gait, The Oregonian reported.

In the most recent robbery in October, Christie provided phone and online investment records showing he was at home in rural Tillamook, 70 miles away from the bank when the heist occurred, lawyer Terri Wood said.

Christie was arrested Oct. 26, but one of the robberies he was suspected of was written off by relatives who swore they were at his home with him 90 minutes before the robbery, about 100 miles away, the report said.

The decision not to go to a grand jury was made Friday by Assistant U.S. Attorney Frank Papagni in Eugene based on the electronic and family alibis, the newspaper said.

The robberies by the Waddling Bandit have netted about $70,000 since the spree began, investigators said.

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