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Bad Hair Bandit Captured in Auburn

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 on 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 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.

Lt.  Mark Reed with the Placer County Sheriff’s Office says during follow up they thought they might have a match for the “Bad Hair Bandit”.

“One of our detectives had heard about the “Bad Hair Bandit” and a female bank robber is rare. So as we were conducting our investigation, we were able to compare some photos and evidence that we collected at the vehicle led us to believe that it was the same person and the FBI sent somebody up here working with the Sacramento office and agents in Seattle and we were able to piece it together and we’re pretty confident that we have the “Bad Hair Bandit.”

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.

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