The woman suspected of going on a bank robbery spree throughout the Northwest this year has been caught, bad hair and all.
The woman, dubbed the "Bad Hair Bandit," robbed 18 banks throughout the Puget Sound, Oregon and Montana over the past year - including the Wells Fargo in University Place twice. She made the FBI's Most Wanted list of unknown bank robbers this week.
The woman was caught Monday after she tried the same thing at an Auburn, California bank.
According to the FBI's Seattle Office, around 2:25 p.m., a woman entered the Bank of the West and passed a note to a teller, demanding money and stating that she was armed. She received an undetermined amount of money and left the bank. Placer County Sheriff deputies were able to arrest the suspected robber and her getaway driver when their vehicle and license plate matched a description given by a witness.
On Tuesday, the alleged robber was identified as 46-year-old Cynthia Van Holland and her alleged getaway driver as 26-year-old Christopher Alonzo. Both are from Hayden, Idaho.
Here is the press release from Placer County Sheriff Edward Bonner:
The woman arrested Monday for robbing the Bank of the West in Auburn is believed to be the “Bad Hair Bandit” responsible for up to 20 other bank robberies in Washington, Oregon and Montana.
Around 2:25 p.m., Cynthia Van Holland entered the Bank of the West at 13422 Lincoln Way. She passed a note to a teller demanding money and stating that she was armed. She was given an undetermined amount of money and left the bank.
Witnesses in the busy shopping center saw the woman run from the bank and get into the getaway car that was parked behind the bank. The driver, Christopher Alonzo, 26, then drove off. A very observant witness gave deputies the vehicle description and a possible license plate number.
Minutes later, deputies who were staking out Interstate 80, spotted the vehicle near Rocklin Road. The pair was arrested without incident.
Placer County detectives identified Van Holland as a possible suspect in the “Bad Hair Bandit” robberies after examining evidence and surveillance photos. A joint investigation was started with the FBI and is continuing at this time.
Any questions regarding the bank robberies in Washington, Oregon and Montana should be directed to the FBI office in Spokane.
The arrest came after the FBI placed her on the list. According to the FBI, "an unknown white female is thought to be responsible for at least 18 bank robberies and attempted bank robberies throughout Washington State, Oregon, and Montana since December of 2010."
"Typically, the woman enters the bank and passes a note to a teller in which she demands cash and states that she is armed. She appears to flee by car, possibly a newer silver or gold sedan similar to a Honda Accord."
"The robber is described as a White female in her 30s, 5 feet, 5 inches to 5 feet, 7 inches tall, with a medium to heavy build. She tends to wear a zippered hoodie, eyeglasses, a baseball cap, and some type of wig."
In April, that the woman had a long list of banks that grew even we ran our story:
• US Bank, Tacoma, WA—12/22/2010
• Key Bank, Tumwater, WA—01/05/2011
• Key Bank, Tacoma, WA—01/12/2011
• Wells Fargo Bank, Spanaway, WA—01/14/2011
• Heritage Bank, Tacoma, WA—01/21/2011
• Cathay Bank, Kent, WA—01/26/2011
• First Security Bank, Redmond, WA—01/27/2011
• US Bank, Auburn, WA—02/10/2011
• Wells Fargo Bank, University Place, WA—02/19/2011
• Sound Community Bank, Tacoma, WA—03/25/2011
• Wells Fargo Bank, University Place, WA—04/09/2011
• Cathay Bank, Bellevue, WA—04/21/2011
• Wheatland Bank, Ellensburg, WA—04/26/2011
• Key Bank, Moses Lake, WA—04/27/2011
• Chase Bank, Spokane, WA—05/09/2011
• Sterling Bank, Moses Lake, WA—06/07/2011
• Key Bank, Lake Oswego, OR—07/01/2011
• Yakima Federal, Richland, WA—07/18/2011
• Bank of Butte, Butte, MT—08/11/2011
• Bank of the West, Auburn, CA—08/15/2011