FBI says 'Pink Lady Bandit,' who robbed multiple banks along the East Coast, has been arrested
She robbed multiple banks in several states along the East Coast, armed with notes demanding money from tellers - and, the authorities say, a "distinctive pink handbag."
And now, the FBI says, the woman whom the bureau nicknamed the "Pink Lady Bandit" has been captured.
Police in Charlotte, North Carolina, arrested 35-year-old Circe Baez and her suspected accomplice, 38-year-old Alexis Morales, on Sunday, the FBI said in a statement. Baez and Morales were apprehended at Charlotte Speedway Inn & Suites, nearly 100 miles from Hamlet, North Carolina, the site of the Pink Lady Bandit's last robbery.
The FBI had offered a reward of up to $10,000 for help capturing the mysterious woman who had robbed at least four banks along a 665-mile stretch over the span of a week, traveling from Pennsylvania to Delaware to North Carolina, according to an FBI "Wanted" poster.
Baez and Morales, who are being held at the Pitt County Detention Center in Greenville, North Carolina, under $4 million bonds, have been charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon and conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon, the FBI said. Baez and Morales have been charged in two North Carolina robberies; Baez has been charged in Pennsylvania, as well, the FBI said.
More charges will probably be added from state agencies, according to the FBI, which worked with numerous city and state police departments to track down the suspects. The suspects may face federal charges, as well; an investigation is ongoing.
The Pitt County Sheriff's Office posted triumphantly about the arrests on Facebook, congratulating police, FBI and others for their work enabling the "quick outcome."
"The pink lady is changing her trademark to an orange jumpsuit," the office wrote.
The Pink Lady Bandit stuck out to authorities not just for the string of crimes but for her attire: In two of the robberies, she wore yoga pants, a tank top and a navy baseball cap and carried her signature bag, the FBI said.
Another picture from the FBI showed her in what appears to be a striped Aeropostale shirt; in the latest photo, from a Friday robbery at a BB&T bank in Hamlet, she is seen wearing polka dots and a cap. In all four heists, she also had on sunglasses.
The pink handbag, though, was absent from all photos released by the FBI.
The Pink Lady Bandit's heists began July 20 at Orrstown Bank in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, according to the bureau. Three days later, she was robbing M&T Bank in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, nearly 200 miles away. The next day, she was 300 miles south, holding up a Southern Bank in Ayden, North Carolina, according to authorities. Arrest warrants indicate that the robber implied to a bank teller in Ayden that she had a handgun, local news outlet WITN reported.
Then, on Saturday, the FBI announced that the Pink Lady Bandit had "struck again" - in Hamlet on Friday.