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Calif. Sheriff Apprehends 'Bad Hair Bandit' Bank Robber

August 18, 2011  | 

The Placer County (Calif.) Sheriff's Office has arrested Cynthia Van Holland, who authorities dubbed the "bad hair bandit." Van Holland has been connected with 20 robberies or attempted robberies of banks mostly in Seattle and Sacramento.

Sheriff's deputies arrested Van Holland, 47, on Monday with coordination from FBI Safe Streets task forces in those cities. Van Holland and her alleged getaway driver, Christopher Alonzo, 24, about 12 miles from the Bank of the West in Auburn, Calif.

At about 2:25 p.m. Monday, a female entered Bank of the West and passed a note to a teller demanding money and stating she was armed. She was given an undisclosed amount of money and left the bank. Placer County Sheriff's deputies then arrested Van Holland and Alonzo after a witness gave a description of their vehicle and license plate.

Van Holland is suspected of committing or attempting bank robberies in four states, including Washington, California, Oregon, and Montana. According to witnesses, the robber typically waited in line as a customer before each robbery, then produced a note to a teller in which she demanded cash and stated that she was armed.

The "bad hair bandit" earned her nickname for the variety of wigs she wore during robberies.


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