PORT TOWNSEND FARMER
Leading Double Life
As Interstate Bank Robber?
October 17, 2009
(TACOMA, WA) -- It is a story that reads almost like a script for a low budget movie on the Lifetime channel. Handsome organic farmer in Poet Townsend, a family man with deep roots in the community, leads a double life as an interstate serial bank robber.
Bank robbery suspect Michael Fenter of Port Townsend.
This bank surveilance photo shows the suspect in a Feb. 4, 2009 robbery at the Washington Mutual Bank in Seattle, now believed to be Michael Fenter of Port Townsend.
That is how the FBI describes bank robbery suspect Michael John Fenter who was arrested last week in a foiled Tacoma bank robbery. Agents say Fenter threatened the teller with what he said was bomb and Tacoma police surrounded the bank before he could escape.
Fenter has been charged in that Tacoma bank robbery and the FBI is investigating whether he could be responsible for several more bank heists on the West Coast.
They suspect that Fenter was leading a double life.
Fenter and his wife operate the Compass Rose Farm in Port Townsend which grows organic produce and was featured in an August article in The Leader newspaper of Port Townsend.
The paper reported that Fenter, a father of three, was laid off from his job as a yacht builder earlier this year. The FBI says the string of robberies started soon after Fenter was laid off.
Fenter, 39, is suspected in at least four robberies in Washington and California since February 2009.
Officials say Fenter refused to cooperate after his arrest and was identified only after his hands were washed with solvents and he could be fingerprinted. Fenter reportedly had covered the tips of his fingers in glue in order to leave no fingerprints.
Friday afternoon in a Tacoma Federal court room a judge ordered that Fenter remain behind bars until trial.