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'Bad Hair Bandit' Arraigned On 21 Counts Of Bank Robbery

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) - A 48-year-old woman was arraigned in federal court on Friday on 21 counts of bank robbery, including three in the Sacramento region.

Cynthia Lynn Van Holland, 48, a transient from the states of Idaho and Washington, was arraigned before U.S. Magistrate Judge Kendall J. Newman and pleaded not guilt. Her next court date is scheduled for July 25.

According to court documents, Van Holland committed robberies in four states and five federal districts. During the early stages of the investigation, the Seattle Office of the FBI dubbed Van Holland the "Bad Hair Bandit" because she allegedly used a series of unusual wigs and disguises in executing her bank robberies.

The local robberies include:

  • June 28, 2011, East West Bank at 4790 Freeport Blvd in Sacramento, $671
  • June, 28, 2011, U.S. Bank at 304 F Street in Davis, $1,967
  • Aug. 15, 2011, Bank of the West at 13422 Lincoln Way in Auburn, $8,722.

She's also accused of robbing 16 banks in Washington, one in Oregon and one in Montana.

Van Holland and an alleged accomplice, Christopher Scott Alonzo, 26, were arrested by Placer County Sheriff's deputies just minutes after the Bank of the West robbery on Interstate 80 near Rocklin Road after a witness gave deputies a vehicle description and partial license plate number.

The investigation was conducted by the Sacramento Violent Crimes Task Force, which includes the FBI and the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department.

If convicted, Van Holland is facing up to 20 years in federal prison for each count.

Van Holland lived in Idaho and worked as a licensed vocatinal nurse for Correctional Healthcare Companies, a contractor for the Idaho Department of Correction, from April 27 to Aug. 10, according to Larry Wolk, a spokesman for Correctional Healthcare. She married Alonzo in March. He served prison time in Idaho for credit card fraud.

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