“It was just the right thing to do,” said Julia Lundstrom.
Lundstrom dated and lived with Adam Lynch, the accused “Ho Hum Bandit” for two and a half years, the last seven months of that time in Denver.
“He put me in harms way when he told me he was robbing banks. If I didn’t turn him in it was a crime for me not to tell the police,” said Lundstrom, explaining her decision to call police moments after she says her boyfriend confessed to being a serial bank robber.
“The Adam I know is a huge fantasy. He didn’t exist,” said Lundstrom in an exclusive interview with CBS4.
She said Lynch completely deceived and betrayed her, making up stories about getting hit by cars and needing cancer surgery and hours of chemotherapy treatments to explain times he was away from her holding up banks.
Police arrested Lynch, a 34 year old Irish national, March 19 after the call from his girlfriend. They now believe Lynch was the “Ho Hum Bandit,” responsible for 24 bank robberies in California, Colorado, Washington State and Wyoming. He has only been charged in connection with one Colorado bank heist.
The “Ho Hum Bandit” was so named due to his laid back attitude while robbing banks and his tendency to yawn or look bored during the thefts.
Via email, Lynch’s attorney stated, “Neither Mr. Lynch or myself will comment on the pending case. Thank you.”
The entire time authorities believe Lynch was robbing banks; he was living with Julia Lundstrom, who had no clue.
“Who would think you are dating a bank robber?” said Lundstrom. “I thought I was going to spend my life with this man, marry this man and have kids. Then I found out he was a pathological liar and a bank robber. It turned my world upside down. It’s devastating.”
Lundstrom said the two met in 2008 in San Francisco when she was on a business trip. Lynch had founded a dog walking business in San Francisco with his ex-wife. Lundstrom was at an Irish bar with a friend when Lynch walked in. Within a few minutes the two struck up a conversation, then went out dancing. Three weeks later Lynch flew to Lundstrom’s home in San Diego to visit and the two were inseparable after that.
“Did he sweep you off your feet?” Lundstrom was asked.
“He did, he did. I was recently out of a divorce and it was probably too early but he really did. He was incredibly fun and generous and willing to do anything. He got along with everybody. My family loved him,” said Lunstrom.
Lundstrom and Lynch settled in San Diego. Eight months after they met, Lundstrom, a financial professional, said the two took an extensive trip.
“We went all over northern Italy, went to Egypt and it was a fabulous trip. We went up to Amsterdam and Sweden and visited my family up there and we went to Ireland. It was flawless,” she said.
Lundstrom said she and Lynch were “absolutely” in love.
“He was a really great guy. He really loved me and I loved him,” she said.
Lynch explained to Lundstrom that while they were together, he was supporting himself from the proceeds of selling his San Francisco dog walking business. He also told Lundstrom of other cash- producing real estate and business investments that he relied on for income.
The two moved to Denver in August 2010 to be closer to several of Lundstrom’s family members, who live in Colorado. They rented a loft several blocks north of Coors Field. The two increasingly clashed over finances, with Lundstrom believing Lynch was not contributing his fair share to living expenses.
Suddenly, earlier this year, Lynch deposited $6,000 into Lundstrom’s bank account. But she felt his explanations for where the money came from did not ring true. As she began contacting his family and friends, she began to believe Lynch was a fraud.
“He was living a complete lie. A complete lie about everything,” said Lundstrom. “I do remember times I had gut feelings something’s not right and I couldn’t figure that out. But now it all makes complete sense.”
As the relationship became more strained, Lundstrom moved in with a family member. But Lynch pressed for reconciliation. She agreed to meet him the evening of March 18 at Fado’s, an Irish pub next to Coors field.
Lundstrom said she told Lynch she would not reconcile with him, that she had uncovered too many lies. But it was worse than she imagined. She queried him again about the $6,000 he had given her.
“I said what are you, a bank robber or a drug dealer?” said Lundstrom, half joking. “He goes yeah, ‘I’m a bank robber.’ And I laughed and thought he was kidding. I didn’t believe him.”
But then Lynch had Lundstrom pull up a law enforcement bulletin on her cell phone that contained a photo of the Ho Hum bandit.
“And it was him. And he was wearing my baseball cap,” she said.
Lundstrom said her boyfriend then confessed to being a serial bank robber, detailing what he had done behind her back.
“He had told me he was good at it. He did seem secure that he was good at it and got away with it and no one knew his name,” said Lunstrom.
He admitted robbing banks throughout Colorado from Denver to Boulder to Frisco, according to Lundstrom. He admitted to robbing a bank in Seattle while he was staying with his brother who is a Washington State trooper. She said she learned that he robbed a bank in Palm Springs when the couple was staying with her father.
“We were staying with my Dad and he said he was going to go shopping and he was gone for four hours and he robbed a bank in Palm Springs,” said Lundstrom.
She even found out that he had faked having cancer as a cover so he could go out and case and rob banks.
“I found out he used his “chemo sessions” that he told me about to go out and scope out and rob banks,” she said.
Prior to that, she said Lynch lied about traveling to San Francisco for a cancer operation to have lymph nodes removed. She said she later discovered he had not gone to San Francisco but had left California to rob a bank. But stunningly, when he returned, she said he had cut himself on his abdomen to make it appear he had undergone surgery.
As she said the confession cascaded from Lynch, Lundstrom said she had one overriding need.
“My only thought was I need to call the police and I need to do it without him knowing because he would flee. When it comes down to it, he could have gotten shot or worse someone innocent could have gotten hurt and I could not have that,” said Lunstrom.
Lundstrom sneaked into a restaurant bathroom and dialed 911 and told police she was sitting with a wanted, pattern bank robber. About 45 minutes later, police showed up and arrested Lynch.
“It was the right thing to do and the legal thing to do,” said Lundstrom. “I knew what I had to do. This was a man who had robbed 24 banks in 14 months.”
She said she has no regrets about what she did and would do it again. She said turning in the man she loved and once planned to marry, had nothing to do with reward money or anger over his lies.
“It would be a crime for me not to tell the police. I walked by him and he was handcuffed against the wall and I said ‘I’m sorry, I had to do it.’”
Lynch is being held without bond on a single federal bank robbery charge. A trial date has been set for June.
But over the last month, Lundstrom has been able to piece together lie after lie. She recalls when they lived in Southern California, Lynch returned home one day with his jeans torn at the pocket and a reddish color on them. He rushed into the shower and said little. After, he explained the rip in his jeans, the gash in his leg and the apparent blood as the result of a car accident.
“He said an elderly couple backed into him,” said Lundstrom.
The truth later emerged.
“That night at Fado’s he admitted that was a dye pack that was in his pocket (from a bank robbery) that exploded and thats what did that,” she said.
Since the arrest, she found a plastic toy gun hidden under the spare tire in her car. She theorizes that was the gun Lynch occasionally showed bank tellers. She also found sneakers hidden away that Lynch never wore. She believes those were worn just during robberies.
“He just wasn’t who I thought he was,” Lundstrom recalled. “He was a criminal- a federal criminal. He’s just a stranger to me. I don’t know who the man is. It’s not the man I fell in love with. I was fooled. We were all fooled.”