| Crime |

"Hot Head Bandit," Serial Bank Robber, Busted in Peoria

An alleged serial bank robber, responsible for at least three heists across the Valley, was busted in Peoria last week thanks to the keen eye of a police officer, the Peoria Police Department announced this morning.

Peoria police spokesman Mike Tellef tells New Times that Timothy John Kestle is the man the FBI's bandit-naming department dubbed "The Hot Head Bandit."

Kestle, Tellef says, was busted last Monday after an officer with the Peoria PD -- while on routine patrol -- recognized a vehicle similar to one used as a getaway car during a bank robbery in April.

The vehicle, a white Dodge Dakota, was featured in previous police bulletins along with a photo of the suspect.

When the officer stopped the truck, he recognized the driver, Kestle, from the bulletin and placed him under arrest.

Kestle, police say, is responsible for at least three robberies beginning in January.

Kestle allegedly robbed two tellers at the First Arizona Savings Bank at 4915 West Bell Road in Phoenix. According to police, Kestle held a gun, and ordered the tellers to "give me all your money." The tellers complied, and Kestle fled.

The second robbery, at the Washington Federal Savings at 1010 West Chandler Heights Road in Chandler on April 5, gave police a better description of the "Hot Head Bandit" as surveillance cameras allowed cops to identify the suspect's vehicle.

The third robbery authorities believe Kestle committed happened at the Compass Bank inside the Albertson's grocery store at 18411 North Cave Creek Road in Phoenix. In that robbery, police say Kestle pulled his gun and robbed three tellers.

After his arrest by police in Peoria, Kestle was handed over to the FBI.

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