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L.A. Man Held in Series of Robberies

Arrest: Police believe the suspect is the 'tennis-elbow bandit,' wanted for 36 holdups of banks and stores, mostly in the Valley.

June 14, 2002|ANDREW BLANKSTEIN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

A man believed to be the "tennis-elbow bandit," wanted for robbing three dozen banks and stores across Los Angeles County during the last two years, has been arrested, Los Angeles police said Thursday.

Terrance Lynn Miller, 47, of Los Angeles, was taken into custody by detectives from the Los Angeles Police Department's North Hollywood Division about noon on Wednesday at a Ralphs supermarket in Burbank.

Miller, who faces state charges of bank and commercial robbery, is being held at the Parker Center jail in lieu of $1.4-million bail. He is to be formally charged in court today.

"Detectives ... observed Miller, who they believed resembled the suspect," said LAPD robbery homicide division Capt. Jim Tatreau.

A short time later "a stop was conducted and the detectives observed an air pistol on the floorboard of the car and recovered other significant evidence related to the crimes," Tatreau said.

Miller is suspected of robbing 36 banks and retail stores in Burbank, Glendale and Los Angeles between July 7, 2000, and May 31 of this year, Tatreau said.

He was given the nickname "tennis-elbow bandit" because he wore an athletic bandage over his right elbow, though authorities believe it served to cover a tattoo on his arm.

Described as the "the guy-next-door type," the robber typically would hand tellers notes demanding several thousand dollars in $100 and $50 bills. In the bank heists, he suggested he was carrying a gun, but never drew one. The bandit did display a weapon in the store robberies, Tatreau said.

In November, a task force made up of members from the FBI and the Los Angeles, Burbank and Glendale police departments released grainy surveillance photos showing a 30- to 40-year-old white man, about 5-feet-8 and 180 pounds, who often wore sunglasses on his head or above the brim of a baseball cap, investigators said.

The majority of the crimes took place in San Fernando Valley areas patrolled by the LAPD.

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