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Suspect's Beard Helps Police Link Him To South Hills Bank Robberies

PITTSBURGH (KDKA/AP) -- A man linked to four bank robberies in the South Hills by his red beard, who then wore a fake red beard for two more, has pleaded guilty to all six heists.

Christopher Furay, 33, appeared before a federal judge in Pittsburgh on Tuesday, and confessed to robbing six banks during a six-week period from early last December to mid-January of this year.

He was dubbed the "cell phone bandit" because the first four banks he robbed, he held a cell phone to his ear, pretending to talk to someone.

However, he changed his style for the last two bank heists, not using a cell phone for a prop, but instead, wearing a fake red beard over his real beard to try to conceal his identity.

Furay confessed to bank stickups in Dormont, Castle Shannon, West Mifflin, Brentwood, and he allegedly hit two different banks in Bethel Park.

He told the judge that he stole the money to support his drug habit.

Investigators said in all, Furay stole about $16,000.

Furay will be sentenced in August. He faces a maximum 20-year prison term.

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