Brazen Bank Bandit Strikes for 7th Time - NBC New York

Brazen Bank Bandit Strikes for 7th Time

Elusive thief has robbed 7 NYC banks since December, FBI says



    Brazen Bank Bandit Strikes for 7th Time

    A bank robber on the loose since December has struck again -- this time twice in one week.

    Marat Mikhaylich -- dubbed "the Holiday Bandit" because of the season in which the robberies began -- walked into a Capital One bank in Borough Park, Brooklyn on Sunday and an Investors Savings Bank in Astoria, Queens on Wednesday afternoon, according to the FBI.

    Both times, Mikhaylich allegedly slipped a note to the teller, demanding money and brandishing a black handgun.  He wore a black hat, sunglasses and a dark coat in the latest case.

    With these latest robberies, Mikhaylich has now allegedly robbed seven banks in total, making off with roughly $50,000.

    The FBI says Mikhaylich didn't indicate he was holding a weapon during his very first robbery -- a Sovereign Bank in Astoria, Queens on Dec. 9. But the alleged thief has gotten more aggressive -- and more demanding. On Sunday, he robbed two tellers in the same bank.

    He was dubbed the "Holiday Bandit" late last year when he struck during the height of the season.

    “The Holiday Bandit continues to raise the stakes, becoming more aggressive, and his hold-ups more frequent," the FBI said in a statement.

    Mikhaylich has allegedly robbed banks in three of the five boroughs -- Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island. He has fled each of the scenes on foot and the 35-year-old has never been seen entering a getaway car. Authorities have speculated that Mikhaylich's robbery spree may be driven by the need for money to support a drug habit.

    "The frequency might indicate some kind of addiction problem," FBI spokesman Jim Margolin said.

    Police learned Mikhaylich's identity from fingerprints the Ukrainian-born man left at each of the seven locations, and the alleged thief has been captured on multiple security cameras.

    Despite authorities knowing his identity, arresting the 6-foot-5 Mikhaylich is proving to be no small feat. The closest police and feds have come to nabbing him was in Staten Island on Feb. 4, where he escaped not just a patrol of officers on foot, but a police helicopter as well.

    The FBI asks anyone with information on Mikhaylich to call the FBI-NYPD's Joint Bank Robbery Task Force at (212)384-1000.