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'Granddad Bandit' suspect arrested


UPI News Service, 08/12/2010 

A man arrested at his home in Louisiana has been charged with being the "Granddad Bandit," who allegedly held up 25 banks in 13 states, the FBI said.

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Special Agent Sheila Thorne told CNN that Michael Francis Mara, 52, holed up in his house in Baton Rouge for 6 hours before surrendering to FBI agents Wednesday. Federal prosecutors in Virginia said Mara's arrest followed a tip to the FBI field office in Norfolk.

Thorne said the "Granddad Bandit" got his moniker from his appearance. He was bald and wore glasses and appeared far older than the usual bank robber.

He is believed to be responsible for robberies from Virginia to Kansas and Texas.

The FBI put surveillance images of the bandit on billboards in states where he had struck.

"The Subject does not appear to wear any disguises or concealment to hide his identity," the FBI said in a summary of his tactics. "The subject enters the bank calmly, oftentimes patiently waiting for his turn in line and then approaches the victim teller."

While none of his victims reported seeing a gun, tellers said he would point to his waistband.

Mara traveled frequently in his job for a transportation company, CNN reported.


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