Robbery arrest surprises Gasquet

By Anthony Skeens, The Triplicate September 23, 2013 05:16 pm

Cardinal
Cardinal
A brown, single-wide manufactured home with flowers on the front porch, just off the highway and nestled among the trees and hills in Gasquet, is where a suspect in 10 bank robberies in Northern California and Southern Oregon lived.

No one was home Thursday, but the owner of the mobile home park, located just off U.S. Highway 199 on Wetherell Lane, shared some details about the man.

“That was obviously a real surprise,” said Harry Wetherell. “(He) was
really sick.”

Mark A. Cardinal, 58, was apprehended Monday near Cave Junction following a Grants Pass bank robbery earlier in the day. He will be arraigned Tuesday in Josephine County on five counts of robbery and five counts of theft.

Cardinal had lived with his wife in the RV park area of the mobile home park since last October, Wetherell said.

“They were a real quiet couple,” said Wetherell. “(His wife’s) just devastated. She didn’t know anything about it.”

He described the arrest as “totally unbelievable.”

“We didn’t have a clue he would be involved in anything like that,” said Wetherell.

Nothing suspicious came up on a thorough background check  he conducts on every potential new tenant, he said.

“There was no history on the guy or we wouldn’t have let him move in,” said Wetherell. “It’s a devastating thing for the wife and the family.”

The Cardinals had hit hard times, said Wetherell, who was working with them so they could pay back rent.

Both of them have serious medical conditions that required treatment recently, Wetherell said.

Cardinal looked sickly and would often just sit on his porch, slumped in a chair, Wetherell said.

“This could be a desperation issue,” said Wetherell. “It’s obviously wrong to do. There should be programs for people who are down and out like that.”

Other Gasquet residents described Cardinal the same way, quiet, unassuming and sickly.

Cardinal is suspected of a string of robberies, including two in Crescent City, one each in Arcata and McKinleyville, two in Cave Junction, three in Grants Pass and one in Myrtle Creek, authorities said.

Reach Anthony Skeens at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it