News and Press Releases

Robber’s Efforts to Hide Distinctive Dental Grillz Helped Teller Remember Him

January 24, 2007

A Vancouver, Washington bank robber who tried to keep his mouth tightly closed during a bank robbery to hide his distinctive dental grillz, was convicted in U.S. District Court in Tacoma this afternoon following a two day trial. RUSTY REX REAN, 28, of Portland, Oregon faces up to 20 years in prison when he is sentenced by U. S. District Judge Franklin D. Burgess on April 20, 2007. The jury deliberated about two hours before reaching the guilty verdict.

On August 4, 2005 a robber handed a note to a teller at the Cascade Park Branch of Key Bank in Vancouver, Washington. The note said, “This is a robbery, Don’t make it a murder, Handgun, No Dye Packs, No Marked Money, Do this in 30 seconds.” The teller remembered the robber’s “strange close-mouthed grin.” The robber left with $1,795. At trial, various witnesses, including REAN’s probation officer, identified REAN as the robber in the surveillance video. DNA evidence from a hat that flew off the robber as he drove away also linked REAN to the crime. Authorities found the note pad on which REAN had written the demand note and could make out some of the same words from the impressions on the tablet. Prosecutors showed the jury a picture of REAN’s distinctive cosmetic dental grillz – the reason for his close mouthed grin.

At sentencing the government will argue that REAN is a career offender and will ask for significant prison time. REAN has prior convictions for drug possession, drug delivery, and manufacture, use of a dangerous weapon and robbery.

The case was investigated by the FBI and Vancouver Police Department (VDP). The case was prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Kent Liu. Mr. Liu is a Deputy Pierce County Prosecutor specially designated to handle drug and gun cases in federal court.

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

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