"Bad Hair" Bandit Busted in Scottsdale; Reserve Deputy Thought "Big Afro Wig" was Strange


Jim Jeselun, a reserve deputy for the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, thought something was odd about a man he saw walking into a Scottsdale bank on Monday. For one thing, he was wearing a "big Afro wig."

When the man came out of the First Fidelity Bank at 7401 E. Camelback Road, Jeselun -- a retired sheriff's deputy -- jotted down the Volkswagen Jetta's license plate. He quickly learned the bank had just been robbed. And it wasn't long after Jeselun turned his info over to authorities that suspected serial bank robber Blair Daehling and his wife, Brandy Heidrick-Daehling, were in custody.

Jeselun, 57, reportedly said that getting the alleged criminals busted was "kind of fun."

Daehling's been charged with seven counts of bank robbery; Heidrick-Daehling has been charged with three. The U.S. Attorney's Office in Phoenix says a third person who was in the car has not yet been charged.

The FBI had deemed Daehling the "Bad Hair Bandit" because of the robber's use of wigs. We profiled the robber last month and again last week following an FBI-led news conference. FBI Agent Lance Leising told us the guy was actually decent at disguising himself, and witnesses described him variously as black, hispanic or white.

Daehling is facing so much time behind bars that he may never see sunlight again, so to speak. But that's the breaks. A quick search of court sites shows Daehling's a bad seed with a long rap sheet. Over the last decade or so the 38-year-old has been convicted for fraud, theft, drag racing, burglary, aggravated assault, criminal trespassing and a slew of driving offenses. Jailers better keep an eye on him: Daehling was once convicted of escape in the second degree.

He and his wife had a lot in common: She's a convicted forger.


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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.