News and Press Releases

Crime-Stoppers Publicity Key to Arrest and Conviction of “Can You Hear Me Now?” Bandit

May 25, 2006

MONTORY CATRELL CALDWELL, 25, of Seattle, Washington was convicted today of eleven counts of Bank Robbery following a six day jury trial in U.S. District Court in Tacoma. CALDWELL faces up to 20 years in prison when he is sentenced by U.S. District Judge Ronald B. Leighton on September 8, 2006. The jury deliberated about three hours before reaching a verdict.

CALDWELL robbed eleven banks between October 2005 through April 2005. Initially, the FBI had no suspects. However, the first break in the case came following news reports airing surveillance photographs and video of the “Can You Hear Me Now?” bank robber. The surveillance photos from the bank robberies depicted the robber slouched over, using a cell phone at various in-store bank branches. Because of the cell phone, FBI agents dubbed him the “Can You Hear Me Now? Bandit.”

After the surveillance photos were broadcast in news reports, and posted on news media web sites, numerous people contacted the FBI identifying CALDWELL as the person depicted in the photos. Former girlfriends, friends and family members called CALDWELL and each other commenting that they had seen his photos on television. CALDWELL’s half brother saw the photos on television in the common room at the prison where he is incarcerated and recognized his sibling. In fact, CALDWELL’s half brother is serving time for an armed robbery the two committed together in Snohomish, Washington. CALDWELL was on probation for that conviction when he was identified as a suspect in the string of bank robberies.

Once CALDWELL was identified by the public, investigators compared a photograph on file with the Washington State Department of Corrections with the surveillance photos and made the match. Bank tellers were shown a photographic montage which included CALDWELL’s photograph and many of the tellers picked him. A search of a house where CALDWELL was living turned up a hat that was worn in one of the robberies.

The case was investigated by the FBI and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys David Reese Jennings and Bruce Miyake.

For more information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110.

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