A bank surveillance photo released by Medford police shows Stephen Louis Plante inside the Washington Federal Bank on Biddle Road Wednesday.

'Bait bills' lead to bank robber's arrest

A California transient who allegedly robbed a Medford bank this morning was arrested shortly afterward inside a Carl's Jr. after paying for his meal with a "bait bill" from the robbery.

Stephen Louis Plante, 36, wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt, entered the Washington Federal Bank at 600 Biddle Road at about 9:12 a.m. and handed the teller a note demanding $352, according to an FBI affidavit. The robbery was caught on surveillance video, the affidavit said. Plante then fled on foot.

A Medford police sergeant saw Plante enter Carl's Jr. inside Bear Creek Plaza on Biddle Road at 9:45 a.m. Authorities believe Plante ditched the gray hoodie inside a Superior Athletic Club Dumpster behind the gym, which is located near the bank.

Plante allegedly paid for his meal at Carl's Jr. with one of five "bait bills" the teller gave him, according to the affidavit. A "bait bill" is described in the affidavit as money with serial numbers the bank recorded in order to aid law enforcement. The court document doesn't list denominations in the robbery, though it does list serial numbers involved.

Police arrested Plante inside the restaurant without incident. He faces a federal bank robbery charge, according to documents filed today in U.S. District Court in Medford.

No weapon was believed to have been involved, and no one was injured, according to Medford police. All cash involved in the robbery was recovered — most was found on Plante and the rest was found in the restaurant cash register, police said.

Jackson County Circuit Court records show Plante has no local criminal history, but the FBI affidavit said Plante's criminal history in California includes "53 arrest cycles" with "multiple felony convictions."

— Reach reporter Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or Follow him on Twitter at @MTCrimeBeat.

Share This Story