‘Deadliest Catch’: One Crew Member Became a Real-Life Bank Robber Before He Was Caught

by Megan Molseed
(Colin McConnell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

A former deckhand on the popular Discovery Channel series, Deadliest Catch led a secret life before – and after – his time on the popular reality television docu-series.

Joshua Tel Warner, who was twenty-three years old at the time of his 2010 conviction, was ultimately sentenced to an extensive prison term.

This conviction came from Warner robbing several banks over a two-year period. One bank was robbed in 2007, prior to Warner’s stint on Deadliest Catch.

The final two robberies occurred in 2009 after Warner had returned from filming the show.

In all, the former Deadliest Catch player is spending nearly a decade in prison. Nine and a half years, to be exact. After committing three bank robberies; each in the western United States town on Eugene Washington.

Joshua Tel Warner pulled off the first of the three heists at a Washington Mutual Bank branch on October 19, 2007. This was before Warner set off to join the crew of one of the Discovery Channel’s Deadliest Catch fishing vessels.

Returning To A Life Of Crime After A Life At Sea

Once Joshua Tel Warner returned to dry land, he soon returned to his secret life of bank robbery.

The Deadliest Catch deckhand went on to steal several thousand dollars in 2009 when he committed robberies on the Pacific Continental Bank branch in Washington.

It wasn’t until promos for Warner’s Deadliest Catch episodes aired on The Discovery Channel, however, that detectives were able to connect Warner to his crimes.

Detectives on the case were pleasantly surprised when their suspect did much of their detective work for them. Putting his face on national television for all to see.

‘Deadliest Catch’ Deckhand Captured After Promos Air

It wasn’t long before viewers made the connection between the bank surveillance footage airing on local news stations; and the promos for the popular Discovery Channel show.

During the 2010 trial, the district attorney overseeing the case read two letters written by the tellers he had robbed.

The letters recounted how the robber passed notes to them. Each letter contained a warning that if they did not submit to the demands, they’d be killed.

Joshua Tel Warner not only stole cash during the robbery, but he also stole her “ability to easily trust another human being,” one teller notes.

The court ordered Warner to reimburse a total of $2,794 and $8,304 for the robberies; in addition to his nine-and-a-half-year prison sentence.