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'Deadliest Catch' crab boat deckhand arrested for bank robberies


By Christopher Rocchio, 01/04/2010 

A Deadliest Catch crab fisherman has been charged with committing a string of bank robberies.

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Joshua Tel Warner was arrested early Thursday in East Peoria, IL due to an Oregon warrant that charged him with a 2007 bank robbery and two additional bank robberies this year, The Associated Press reported Friday.

The 23-year-old Oregon native -- who served as a greenhorn deckhand on the Wizard crab boat during Deadliest Catch's 2009 season  -- was arrested after a vehicle he was riding in was pulled over for a routine traffic stop, according to The AP, which added he is currently being held on $30,000 bail.

"What an incredibly stupid thing to do, to commit a bank robbery, then go on a national TV show and make a spectacle of yourself and then come home and commit two more bank robberies," Detective Jeff Donaca, who is investigating the case, told The Oregonian in a Thursday report.

"He should be on the Dumbest Criminal show."

Warner's first alleged robbery occurred in October 2007 at a Washington Mutual branch in Eugene, Donaca told The Oregonian, adding the two robberies this year occurred in April and August at a Pacific Continental branch in Eugene.

While both of this year's alleged thefts took place after filming for Deadliest Catch's fifth season and the August robbery occurred after its broadcast run on Discovery, Warner went unrecognized by Donaca -- a fan of the show.

"I didn't recognize him at the time," he told The Oregonian. "That's the last place where you'd expect to find a suspect in your cases."

Donaca said the two Pacific Continental robberies were linked this fall due to surveillance video that showed the same young man wearing a baseball cap, according to The Oregonian, which added the Eugene Police Department put out a news release in September asking for the public's help in identifying the suspect.

An associate of Warner's subsequently responded.

"He told somebody, 'Now that I've been on national TV, something from my past may come back to get me,'" Donaca told The Oregonian.

The tip helped detectives also link Warner to the 2007 Washington Mutual robbery.

"All of the robberies involved a note that threatened harm if the tellers didn't comply," Donaca told The Oregonian. "There were no weapons displayed."

In addition, Donaca said he actually spoke with Warner a few weeks ago.

"He knew we were looking for him," he told The Oregonian, adding Warner did not turn himself in.

Instead, he was thought to have fled to the East Coast or Canada until he was found in East Peoria.

While calls to Discovery by The Oregonian were not returned, Florence Colburn -- co-owner of the Wizard with its captain and her husband Keith Colburn -- said Warner was hired on the recommendation of a friend.

"He worked for us for four or five weeks," she told The Oregonian. "He did what was required of him."

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