BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - A man dubbed the "Granddad Bandit" and
suspected of robbing at least 25 banks in 13 states 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.
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."
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)