'Granddad Bandit' suspected of robbing Syracuse bank arrested
Wed, 11 Aug 2010 21:46:16 GMT —
A man dubbed the "Granddad Bandit" and suspected of robbing at least 25 banks in 13 states, including one in Syracuse, was captured Wednesday after a standoff at a home in Baton Rouge that ended peacefully, authorities said.
Police and FBI agents surrounded the home Wednesday and around 3:45 p.m. walked out with a stocky, balding man with graying hair and glasses. FBI Special Agent Howard Schwartz identified the man as 53-year-old Michael Mara. He had previously been unidentified.
Schwartz says Mara was arrested on a warrant for a bank robbery in Richmond, Va., but he is also suspected in the other robberies, including robbing the Solvay Bank branch in downtown Syracuse last September.
Last week the FBI began posting his picture on billboards across the country after they said he was connected to a string of robberies dating back to a 2008 holdup of a SunTrust Bank in downtown Richmond. Since then, he is believed to have robbed banks all over the eastern and central U.S.
While it wasn't not clear if the robber was actually a grandfather, agents said the nickname was devised to help law enforcement and the public easily identify the suspect.
"He just looks like everyone's granddad," supervisory special agent Amanda Moran in Virginia said last week.
The "Granddad Bandit" was described as a 45-to-60-year-old white man, about 6 feet tall and 230 pounds, balding with short grayish hair on the sides. He usually wore wire-rimmed glasses, short-sleeved collared shirts and ball caps.
In most cases, the suspect waited patiently in line and handed the teller a note. Sometimes, he gestured that he had a weapon, although agents said there was no indication he ever actually used one. Once his demands were met, he took the note and exited quietly, fleeing on foot.
"If he was standing behind you in the teller line while you're waiting for teller service you wouldn't give him a second look," Moran said. "He blends well with people, and his look reminds you of the fatherly granddad."
The FBI has provided this list of locations where banks have been allegedly robbed by the "Granddad Bandit."
Jan. 16, 2009, Mobile, Ala.April 10, 2009, Houston.April 29, 2009, Atlanta.May 5, 2009, Roanoke, Va.June 22, 2009, Beaumont, Texas.July 3, 2009, Little Rock, Ark.July 24, 2009, Dallas.Aug. 7, 2009, Wichita, Kan.Aug. 21, 2009, Birmingham, Ala.Sept. 22, 2009, Syracuse, N.Y.Oct. 2, 2009, Atlanta.Oct. 16, 2009, Tallahassee, Fla.Dec. 10, 2009, Fort Smith, Ark.Dec. 11, 2009, Tulsa, Okla.Dec. 18, 2009, Marietta, Ga.Jan. 20, 2010, Jackson, Miss.Feb. 11, 2010, Knoxville, Tenn.Feb. 24, 2010, Huntsville, Ala.April 2, 2010, Atlanta.April 16, 2010, Mobile, Ala.May 18, 2010, St. Louis County, Mo.