The elusive Ukranian-born "Holiday Bandit" who officials believe robbed at least nine banks in the tri-state area during last year's holiday season pleaded guilty before a judge today.
Mirat Mikhaylich appeared before Magistrate Judge Robert Levy this afternoon. He was arrested in Queens in March after eluding authorities for months.
Officials believe he amassed an estimated $80,000 in a series of holiday-season heists. In one robbery, the 6-foot-5, 210-pound thief even managed to vanish as cops arrived and helicopters searched from above.
Investigators found Mikhaylich after a 2007 Gold Toyota Camry, believed to be stolen by the suspect a day earlier, was found on 91st Avenue in Queens.
Officials believe Mikhaylich was on his way to rob another bank because they found a print-out of directions from his apartment in Jamaica to a Sovereign Bank he'd hit one time before, authorities familiar with the investigation said.
At the time, FBI Assistant Director in Charge Janice K. Fedarcyk said the arrest "should serve as a stark reminder to anyone who wishes to brandish a weapon, rob a bank and put the lives of innocent civilians at risk: we will find you and bring you to justice."
Investigators said Mikhaylich - who they believe is a heroin user - was arrested a day after robbing another bank in Edison, N.J.