Bad Hair Bandit suspect caught in California
- Kara Hansen Murphey
- Lake Oswego Review - News
The FBI is investigating whether it's the same wigged woman tied to as many as 20 other bank robberies, including one in Lake Oswego
Authorities in California believe they have caught the notorious 'Bad Hair Bandit,' wanted for a string of robberies throughout the Pacific Northwest, including in Lake Oswego.
The sheriff of California's Placer County announced Wednesday that deputies arrested Cynthia Lynn Van Holland, 47, in connection with a Monday heist at a Bank of the West in Auburn, Calif., in the Sacramento area. She was nabbed along with an alleged getaway driver, Christopher Scott Alonzo, 26, after robbery witnesses provided authorities with a vehicle description and license plate number.
Detectives determined she might be the Bad Hair Bandit after examining evidence and surveillance photos from the scene, and launched a joint investigation with the FBI, according to a Placer County press release.
The Bad Hair Bandit, known for wearing a variety of wigs during robberies, has eluded authorities since December 2010. She is wanted in connection with up to 20 bank robberies in Oregon, Washington and Montana, in addition to the latest crime in Auburn.
In Oregon, she is suspected in this year's July 1 robbery of the Key Bank branch on A Avenue in downtown Lake Oswego.
Following that case, Beth Anne Steele of the FBI in Portland said a woman walked into the bank, approached a teller and demanded cash. After receiving an undisclosed amount, she left on foot. She threatened tellers by telling them she had a weapon, although none was seen.
Witnesses described her as a white woman 20 to 30 years old, 5-foot-6 or 5-foot-7 and 150 pounds, and wearing a short, dark-colored wig and a polo shirt with red, white and blue stripes.