In advance of his appearance at last week's monthly Block Watch gathering, FBI Agent Harry Trombitas provided Northland Community Council president Dave Paul with an appeal to area residents for helping in capturing this particular criminal:

In advance of his appearance at last week's monthly Block Watch gathering, FBI Agent Harry Trombitas provided Northland Community Council president Dave Paul with an appeal to area residents for helping in capturing this particular criminal:

"It may have been obvious to the authorities even earlier, but it should now be obvious to almost anyone that this 'lady' is making a specialty of robbing banks in the Northland area, especially those along East Dublin Granville Road where 5 of the 8 robberies attributed to her have occurred," the special agent wrote in an e-mail Paul distributed.

"Though she has not actually displayed a weapon at any of these robberies, any time and any place a bank robbery occurs the public is in danger due to the potential for unexpected, even unintended, violence triggered by the actions of the robber, victims, bystanders or even police officers. Now that she has seemingly made the move from conventional bank locations to grocery store branches, and even the Ohio Union at OSU, this potential is even greater.

"It's time for all of us as neighbors here in Northland to start being on the lookout for this 'lady' and help put a stop to her escalating 'career' of robbing Northland area banks, before someone actually does get hurt."

Just before Trombitas took questions from the Block Watch captains and others who assembled at the Division of Police Strategic Response Bureau on Morse Road last week, Community Liaison Officer Scott Clinger arose to point out that the tips that broke some of the cases the FBI agent had discussed came from people just like those in the conference room.

It was a theme to which the meeting's featured speaker warmed.

"You have no idea how important you are to us," Trombitas said. "You are our eyes and ears. You know what's going on in your community better than anyone else."

Untold numbers of crimes have been solved, the special agent added, by calls to law enforcement agencies from ordinary citizens that began, "I don't know if this is important, but ..."

"We can't be everywhere at once," Trombitas told his audience. "You cannot count on just us to keep you safe. The reality is we need your help, we need your observations.

"We get tired of seeing these idiots out there who take advantage of people and don't get with the program."

In addition to the public's help, Trombitas said that law enforcement officials could use some assistance from potential victims of violent crimes, including and especially financial institutions.

He predicted that the "no hats, no hoods, no sunglasses policy" in place in banks along both the East and West Coasts will become the norm, rather than the exception. Such a policy targets 90 percent of bank robbers, who wear something to hide their features and who don't want anything, such as a refusal to comply with such a policy, to draw attention to them, Trombitas said.

"It's catching on all over the place," the FBI agent added. "I'm sure it's going to be coming to Ohio."

- Kevin Parks