Only recently, Fenter was considered nothing more than an upstanding family man. He helped manage Compass Rose Farm, a 40-acre plot near Discovery Bay with his family. He raised sheep and grew hay. He worked at a local shipyard. He'd never committed a crime in his life and appeared, to all who knew him and to those who profiled him in the local paper, to be the head of a hard-working, All-American family.
But in January, friends say Fenter abruptly quit his job. Then, on October 8th, Fenter was arrested outside of a Tacoma Bank of America. After claiming to have a bomb in a box he carried, Fenter left the bank with a reported $73,000 in cash, only to be met by tipped off police waiting outside.
Courtesy of the FBI
A surveillance photo of the bank robbery suspect authorities believe to be Michael Fenter.
Initially, Fenter declined to identify himself, instead saying his name was Patrick Henry, which prompted the FBI to nickname him the "John Doe bandit." Eventually, they determined John Doe was Fenter.
Even authorities are scratching their heads.
"It is very unusual for us to find a bank robber who is just a normal upstanding citizen," FBI spokeswoman Robbie Burroughs said. A typical bank robber, she said, is someone who is "extremely down on their luck." They are often drug users.
"It is unusual to find somebody who is a working family man involved in this kind of activity," Burroughs said.
What turns a regular guy into a bank robber is something we're not qualified to answer. Check back for more updates as they come.