“Holiday Bandit” Bank Robber Caught

The spree of robberies began last year during the holidays.

Authorities captured the so-called "Holiday Bandit" bank robber, who is believed to have carried out at least nine bank robberies in the tri-state area since his spree began during last year's holiday season.

Mirat Mikhaylich was arrested in Queens early Tuesday after eluding authorities for months. In one robbery, the 6-foot-5, 210-pound thief even managed to vanish as cops arrived and helicopters searched from above.

Investigators found him after a 2007 Gold Toyota Camry, believed to be stolen by the suspect a day earlier, was found on 91st Avenue in Queens.

A detective in the NYPD Real Time Crime Center, performing an exhaustive search of license plate reader technology, discovered that the car Mikhaylich stole in NJ had traveled to Queens Monday evening.

That information helped the NYPD and FBI track the vehicle and make the arrest, officials said.

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. on Monday. 

The suspect always made the same moves -- he handed bank tellers a note at gunpoint and demanded cash, authorities said. And then he fled on foot.

Mikhaylich court appearance in federal court on the bank robbery charges was delayed as investigators said he required treatment for his apparenty heroin addiction, officials said.

He is suspected of robbing banks in New York City and New Jersey, including two banks in one February week.

Authorities said he made off with at least $80,000.

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