A man aged in his 70s dubbed the “bicycle bandit” has been arrested and charged after one of South Australia’s longest-running serious crime investigations.
SA Police arrested the man on Friday at his O’Sullivan Beach home, and have charged him over 10 bank robberies and one attempted bank robbery between 2004 and 2014.
Detective Superintendent Billy Thompson told reporters on Sunday the alleged offences were spread across the outskirts of regional Adelaide, with the man escaping with a substantial amount of cash each time.
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“This person obviously thought well about what they were going to do, each offence. Planned it, executed it and escaped pretty quickly.”
Police have released CCTV showing Parsons alleging robbing a bank while wearing a motorcycle helmet. Credit: Supplied
The man was called the “bicycle bandit” because he allegedly fled the majority of crime scenes on a pushbike, using a getaway car only once, during the alleged third robbery.
His alleged bank-robbing spree began in May 2004 and ran until September 2014.
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BankSA branches were hit five times and in late 2004 the bank posted a $5000 public reward which was eventually doubled to $10,000, to no avail.
The bank’s then managing director Rob Chapman said the bicycle bandit had to be stopped, but it wasn’t until 2023 that police were able to track down the suspect.
Thompson said police attached to Operation Coy had eliminated hundreds of possible suspects over the years, with the 73 year-old only becoming a person of interest very recently.
Kim Parsons has been charged over 10 bank robberies that happened over a span of 10 years. Credit: Supplied
“Through a combination of physical evidence, forensic, witness, and circumstantial evidence to confirm our suspicions,” he said.
“I hope this arrest goes some way to providing relief to the victims.”
He said police found unregistered firearms at the man’s home when he was arrested on Friday, including an SKK 7.62 rifle, the same gun police allege was used in the robberies.
The man is due to appear in Adelaide Magistrates Court on Monday.
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