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5- & 4-Year-Old Help Track Robber; Earn $500 Reward Apiece

May 20, 1987

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) _ A 5-year-old girl and a 4-year-old boy who spotted a funny puff of pink smoke while they were waiting for lunch have received a $500 reward each for helping police arrest a robbery suspect.

Lyndsey Wies pulled Scotty Tovar’s thumb from his mouth as the two were presented to a news conference on Tuesday, and Scotty whispered he’d like to buy a squirt gun with his money.

The children were sitting at a kitchen table April 24, waiting for lunch at Scotty’s home near the Multco Employees Credit Union, when they saw a man running down the street. Suddenly, there was a flash and the man was covered with pink smoke.

They watched the man drop his hat and run to a pickup truck, which sped away.

″The didn’t mention a word to me when I came out of the kitchen,″ said Vickie Tovar, Scotty’s mother. ″We were eating lunch when the police arrived.

″We all went outside to see what was going on and an FBI agent asked if we had seen anything. I said no, but Lyndsey and Scotty said they had seen the pink smoke.″

The agent explained that the smoke came from an exploding dye pack hidden in the money that had been taken, Mrs. Tovar said. The children gave the FBI agent a description of the getaway truck, including the color, its canopy and the direction it was headed, and 12 hours later, a suspect was in custody.

Lyndsey and Scotty received their checks at a press conference held by the Financial Institutions Security Task Force, a group set up the state’s banks, credit unions, and savings and loan associations.

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