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Suspected Scappoose bank robber arrested, likely to face charges for multiple bank robberies

by: SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: JOHN WILLIAM HOWARD - Officers responded to the scene of last Friday's Scappoose bank robbery from the Scappoose Police Department, St. Helens Police Department, Columbia County Sheriff's Office and Oregon State Police. Canine units also arrived at the scene from the Tigard Police Department, Multnomah County Sheriffs Office, and the St. Helens Police Department. The man wanted for the robbery of Chase Bank in Scappoose was arrested in Wood Village on the night of Tuesday, Nov. 26.

Travis David Johnson, 20, is charged with the robbery of the Scappoose Chase Bank last Friday at about 3 p.m., among other banks in the Portland metropolitan area. The Scappoose Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation worked together to find the man who police say robbed the bank inside Fred Meyer.

A Portland-based FBI task force detained Johnson and St. Helens resident Ryan Joseph Beisley, 29, on Tuesday at about 7 p.m. while investigating the series of bank robberies in the region. Police said the two suspects tried to rob a bank inside a Wood Village Fred Meyer in the presence of the investigators and then attempted to flee but were taken into custody by the detectives.

Johnson and Beisley were arrested and booked into the Multnomah County Jail on a United States Marshals Service hold. Formal federal bank robbery charges are pending.

At about 5:55 p.m. on Friday, after calling off the manhunt that ensued after the Scappoose Chase Bank was robbed, police received a call regarding an abandoned white Honda Civic on Dutch Canyon Road near Raymond Creek Road. Officers responding to the call determined the Honda was stolen and likely used by the suspect. Soon after establishing a perimeter and resuming the search, a St. Helens canine unit found discarded clothing that matched the description of the suspect's attire about a quarter of a mile from the abandoned car. Johnson

According to an earlier statement released by the Scappoose Police Department, a white male was seen running away from the bank in an “unknown direction” just after the robbery. Officers responded to the scene from the Scappoose Police Department, St. Helens Police Department, Columbia County Sheriff's Office and Oregon State Police. Canine units also arrived at the scene from the Tigard Police Department, Multnomah County Sheriff's Office, and the St. Helens Police Department.

Police advised residents to remain inside and stay clear of the dogs during the man hunt to prevent from throwing off dog's tracking abilities.

For more than two hours, police searched the area for a suspect, but did not find the robber. The search was called off at about 5:15 p.m. on Friday. Officials did not resume the search until they found the suspect's abandoned car.

Lt. Norman Miller, acting head of the Scappoose Police Department, said Johnson used a note rather than a weapon in the robbery and absconded with $1,700 in stolen bills.

Investigators with the Scappoose Police Department, Gresham Police Department, Clackamas County Sheriff's Office, Portland Police Bureau, and the Washington County Sheriff's Office worked together to share information and develop possible suspects. Miller said the SPD also worked with the FBI to go over evidence and investigate any leads.

Asked how long it had been since a bank robbery had occurred in the area, Miller answered, “It was several years ago at U.S. Bank, almost five years ago.”

Miller added that bank robberies are fairly rare in the county.

“All the officers that night, all the agencies, they did a great job,” Miller said. “Everyone put their heads together to watch videos and look over photographs to solve this. It was awesome.”