Monday, February 19, 2007


-- A convicted bank robber went on a crime spree just a week after being released from federal custody and was caught in part because he never changed out of the 1980s-style clothes - including a Members Only jacket -- he was wearing when he was released from prison, San Francisco police said today.

Paul Paris, 54, was released from a halfway house Feb. 2 and proceeded to rob a Citibank branch at 4638 Mission St. on Feb. 9, said robbery Inspector Dan Gardner. The robber was caught on a surveillance camera wearing a Members Only jacket and a hairnet, Gardner said -- the same clothes Paris had on when his probation officer photographed him the day he was released from prison.

"It's classic -- I've used this line before, but once a bank robber, always a bank robber," Gardner said. "We had a great surveillance photo."

The surveillance photo of the robber was distributed to local law-enforcement agencies, court records show, and U.S. Probation Officer Jennifer James recognized Paris in the picture.

Gardner secured an arrest warrant Tuesday, he said, but police hadn't yet caught up to Paris when he allegedly struck another bank in Millbrae on Wednesday and a third bank in Folsom on Thursday.

Paris was taken into custody without incident at the Franciscan Hotel on Third Street around 3 a.m. today by officers from the Bayview Station, Gardner said.

Gardner would not say how much money the robber made off with in the thefts, but court records show he took $6,650 from the San Francisco Citibank.

Paris approached a bank teller and twice asked, "Do you know where I can get the Federal Express card?" FBI Special Agent Richard Anderson wrote in an affidavit filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco.

When the teller replied, "I'm not sure I know what you're talking about," Paris took out a small silver handgun from a backpack and said, "Give me the money!" the affidavit said.

After the teller handed over some money, Paris said, "Give me hundreds, fifties, twenties. Give me all your money!" Anderson wrote.

Paris threw back rubber bands that had been wrapped around the bills, saying, "I don't need that!" the affidavit said.



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