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Police: Holiday Bandit strikes in New Jersey

February 28, 2011 2:17:34 PM PST
The so-called Holiday bandit has crossed the border into New Jersey and is suspected in a hold-up at the Sovereign Bank in Woodbridge, last Friday.

Crime experts say it's an unusual and a potentially dangerous move.

The Holiday bandit strolled into the Sovereign Bank in Woodbridge, dressed like he's going to the gym. But then he pulls a handgun and demands cash from the teller, who starts handing over the bills.

"This guy is in three boroughs, Woodbridge, that's very unusual, that's a striking pattern," said Professor Roger Koppl of Fairleigh Dickinson University.

Police say they've identified this brazen bank robber through fingerprints as 35-year-old Marat Mikhaylich. The Ukranian immigrant is wanted by the FBI for eight bank robberies since December, in Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island and now Woodbridge.

Lately his robberies have become more frequent, and more bold. In one Borough Park hold-up, he went to a second teller after he wasn't satisfied with his take from the first.

Forensics expert Roger Koppl says he may not be getting as much cash as he'd hoped for. "Maybe he wants more money, maybe he has a dollar amount that he wants to achieve," he said.

So far, police say Mikhaylich has gotten away with $50,000.

Investigators say he stands 6'5" tall and is usually dressed all in black.

He got the name 'holiday bandit' because his crime spree started in December.

With all of the information investigators have about him, they probably didn't think they'd still be looking for him when it's almost March.

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