CHP arrests Highway 101 Bandit suspect

A bumper sticker and a quick ID by a California Highway Patrol officer may have ended the two-state bank robbery spree by the man dubbed “The Highway 101 Bandit” by the FBI.

Arthur Cheney, 64, of Napa, was pulled over while driving a gray Mercedes CL 500 less than a mile south of Marysville as he drove north on state Route 70.

An officer en route to another call noticed the vehicle and a “Nino Motors” bumper sticker that had been mentioned in a be-on-the-lookout notice, CHP Officer Jeff Larson said.

“That caught the officer’s eye, and he put two and two together pretty quick,” Larson said.

The officer pulled up along side the Mercedes, recognized Cheney based on security camera images, and pulled him over. Cheney is being held without bail in Yuba County Jail in Marysville.

“No decision has been made yet as far as where he will be prosecuted or done individually with each jurisdiction, but considering that he has robbed banks in atleast two states and up and down this state in particular, there is a good chance it will go federal, but those will be negotiated out by prosecutors,” FBI spokesman Joseph Schadler said.

Although the majority of the approximately 17 known bank heists took place along U.S. Highway 101 in California, a security camera image from Zions Bank in Sandy, Utah, allegedly shows Cheney robbing the bank Sept. 4, and the most recent alleged incident was off of Interstate Highway 80 in Fairfield on Wednesday.

“My guess is that the number is going to increase to include banks we had no idea he was involved with,” Schadler said.

jgoldman@examiner.com

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