18 Bank Holdups Could Be Cleared : Police Arrest ‘Nerd’ Robbery Suspect

Times Staff Writer

A man suspected of being a busy Orange County bank robber dubbed “the Nerd” because of his thick eye glasses was arrested Friday after FBI agents used information on a holdup note to track him to an Anaheim apartment complex.

FBI agent Bucky Cox said John Wade Oechsle, 22, was arrested without incident when agents used information they found inside an envelope on which the bank robber had written a note demanding money.

Cox said the robber left the note with a teller at Gibraltar Savings on Orangethorpe Avenue in Fullerton after a holdup Friday.

Cox, a supervising agent in the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Santa Ana office, said the information inside the envelope identified not Oechsle but his roommate. Once agents learned the address of the apartment complex, Oechsle’s photograph was identified by other residents.


Cox said that the suspect could be responsible for up to 18 holdups in Orange and Los Angeles counties.

Earlier this week, FBI agents sought the public’s help in identifying two robbers who were targeting Orange County banks and provided photographs that were published Tuesday in The Times Orange County Edition.

Investigators said at the time that the bespectacled robber called “the Nerd” typically approached a bank teller with a note or a verbal demand for cash. Once the teller had emptied the cash drawer, the robber then would walk away casually, without calling attention to himself. He always took relatively small amounts of cash, investigators said.

Cox said he did not know how much money was taken in the Gibraltar holdup. No weapon was used and no one was hurt, he added.


Oechsle is suspected of robbing banks in Westminster, La Habra, Orange, Tustin, Santa Ana, Anaheim, Garden Grove, Brea and Diamond Bar, authorities said.