Police arrest man suspected of being 'Ski Bum Bandit'

Published: Tuesday, April 1 2014 11:55 a.m. MDT

Courtesy of the Salt Lake City Police

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KAYSVILLE — A man suspected of robbing several banks whom police dubbed the "Ski Bum Bandit" has been arrested.

Christopher Ryan Huntzinger, 42, was arrested late Monday in Kaysville, said Cottonwood Heights Police Sgt. Corbett Ford. When detectives picked him up, he told another resident in the house that "he was sorry and that he did a robbery, and it's over," a Salt Lake County Jail report states.

He was arrested for investigation of three counts of aggravated robbery, but detectives believe he can be linked to at least five bank robberies in Salt Lake County.

"It looks like he was doing these robberies because he had financial problems," Corbett said.

He noted that Huntzinger has a history of drug and alcohol abuse, but he could not say Tuesday whether the money Huntzinger was allegedly stealing from banks was being used to support that habit.

Salt Lake police believe Huntzinger can be linked to bank robberies at University Federal Credit Union, 7220 S. Highland Drive, Jan. 24; Health Care Credit Union, 769 E. South Temple, Feb. 4; University Federal Credit Union, 3088 S. 1300 East, Feb. 19; Zions Bank, 7015 S. Highland Drive, Feb. 22; and University Federal Credit Union, 7720 S. Highland Drive, March 11.

Huntzinger claimed to have a gun in at least one of the robberies but told investigators after he was arrested he didn't actually have one, the report states.

Because of the different coats, knit hats, hoodies, scarves and sunglasses the robber wore at each robbery, police dubbed him the "Ski Bum Bandit."

The break for investigators came from one of the notes handed to a bank teller during one of the robberies. The note was processed for fingerprints, and a database came up with a match for Huntzinger, according to the report.

Detectives went to Huntzinger's workplace, where employees confirmed surveillance video taken from the bank was of him, the report states. Huntzinger's mother also said the person in the robbery photos was her son, and the scarf he was wearing in one of the photos was one she had given him for Christmas.

The clothes Huntzinger was allegedly wearing during the robberies was recovered from the trunk of his car and in a garbage can, the report states.

In 2012, Huntzinger was arrested in Davis County and held for extradition to face charges in Idaho, according to Utah court records. The rest of his criminal history in Utah includes shoplifting, theft and drug-related cases in 1990 and 2004.

Email: preavy@deseretnews.com, Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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