COLUMBUS, Ohio – FBI agent Harry Trombitas (trom-BEYE'-tuhs) took bank robberies seriously over his long career, but not always the people who committed them.
The 56-year-old agent who retires Monday became well-known for the humorous spin he put on news releases to draw more attention to the crimes in hopes of making arrests.
He dubbed one robber the "Three-Eyed Bandit" because of an eyeball tattoo on the man's neck. Another he called the "Church Lady Bandit" because witnesses said she dressed like she had come from church.
Trombitas says he began the practice in the 1990s when central Ohio was experiencing more than 100 bank robberies a year and sometimes multiple robberies a day.
University of Dayton criminologist Tim Apolito says the catchy names for suspects get more attention than dry physical details.