Mom IDs son as ‘Ski Bum Bandit’ by scarf, police say

Posted at 5:28 AM, Apr 01, 2014

SALT LAKE CITY -- A suspected serial bank robber who earned the nickname "ski bum bandit" is now behind bars.

New details from police reveal the motive behind his alleged crimes and what led to his arrest.

Cottonwood Heights Police say Christopher Huntzinger held up three banks in their area code, and may be responsible for two more bank robberies in Salt Lake. A probable cause statement reveals the person who identified him in surveillance photos was his mother and the alleged motive may have been that he was tight on cash.

"It looks like he just came upon some financial hardship, and felt like that was the easiest way to take care of his finances and get some money quickly," said Sgt. Corbett Ford with the Cottonwood Heights Police Department.

Ford said Huntzinger, 42, was originally named the ski bum bandit because of the type of clothing that he wore during the robberies – but the disguise did not fool police for long.

Detectives say small clues led to the arrest including something sentimental from the suspect's mother.

The PC statement reads, "She indicated the person in the bank photos was her son, Christopher. She added the scarf in the Zion's photograph as the scarf she purchased for him at Christmas."

Police were also able to analyze fingerprints from a note he passed to the bank teller during his first robbery.

Investigators were able to track Huntzinger down at a friend's house in Kaysville. He's been booked int Salt Lake County Jail on five aggravated robbery charges.

Police believe he may be connected to two other bank robberies in the Salt Lake Valley as well.

"I think it's important for people to know that the police departments are actively working these investigation and that we're not just going to let these crimes go unsolved, we're going to do everything possible to bring these crimes to a conclusion," Ford said.