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Michael Brewster, "Bucket List Bandit' bank robbery suspect, caught in Oklahoma, FBI says

These surveillance photos show a serial bank robber dubbed the Bucket List Bandit on, from left: June 21, June 27 and July 6, 2012. AP Photo/FBI

These surveillance photos show a serial bank robber dubbed the Bucket List Bandit on, from left: June 21, June 27 and July 6, 2012.
AP Photo/FBI

(CBS/AP) PITTSBURGH - Michael Brewster, an interstate bank robbery suspect nicknamed the "Bucket List Bandit" because he allegedly told a Utah bank teller he had only four months to live,  has been captured in Oklahoma, an FBI agent said Friday.

Brewster, 54, was arrested Thursday night after a traffic stop in Roland, Okla., said Jason Crouse, the acting head of the FBI office in Erie, Pa. Crouse's office is investigating a robbery in the northwestern Pennsylvania city earlier this week.

Erie FBI agents got a warrant for Brewster's arrest earlier Thursday for robbing the Huntingdon National Bank branch in Erie, about 120 miles north of Pittsburgh, on Monday.

A confidential informant called to give agents Brewster's name and birth date after recognizing his picture in the media accounts of the robberies that began June 21 in Arvada, Colo., a Denver suburb, according to the warrant. The warrant doesn't say how the person knew that information.

A teller at the Erie Bank picked Brewster's photo out of a lineup and authorities then reviewed surveillance video and found an "obvious likeness" to Brewster during nine prior robberies in Arizona, Idaho, Utah, North Carolina, Tenessee, Illinois, Missouri and Colorado. Photos from the various robbries show a man with grayish, thinning hair, generally combed or brushed backward, wearing glasses and what appears to be the same blue polo shirt with a front pocket.

Authorities have released few details of the robberies, beyond those that appear to link the heists and relate to his nickname, which derived from the July 6 robbery of a Wells Fargo Bank in Roy, Utah.

That's where the suspect allegedly told the teller, "I have four months to live," after passing her a note demanding money, Rebecca Wu of the FBI's St. Louis office said.

Investigators haven't said whether they've confirmed if Brewster is even terminally ill. He was expected to make an initial appearance before a federal magistrate in Oklahoma City on Friday.

The warrant doesn't identify his hometown, but indicates he's wanted for borrowing a black Chevy Captiva from a woman in Pensacola, Fla. on June 11 and not returning it. The vehicle was similar to one described by witnesses at several of the robberies authorities think Brewster committed, but Crouse said the vehicle didn't figure in to how authorities tracked down Brewster.

No one has been hurt in any of the robberies and officials aren't saying how much money he's gotten away with except for the $4,080 taken from the Erie bank, which was disclosed in the FBI arrest warrant.

  • Crimesider Staff

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