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The Holiday Bandit has struck again.
Ukrainian immigrant Marat Mikhaylich, who has allegedly amassed more than $50,000 by threatening tellers at seven banks for cash since late December, is suspected of having robbed a second bank in Astoria last week, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said.
Mikhaylich, 35, walked into the Investors Savings Bank, at 35-02 Broadway in Astoria, wearing a black hat, dark sunglasses and a dark coat, the FBI said. When inside, he allegedly showed a note and a weapon and asked for money, then fled on foot, the FBI said.
The bureau, which is working on the robberies with the NYPD through its Joint Bank Robbery Task Force, said the same modus operandi has been consistent across the robberies he is suspected of staging. Most of the robberies have been centered in western Queens, the FBI said, with four in the Astoria and Long Island City area.
“The Holiday Bandit continues to raise the stakes, becoming more aggressive and his holdups more frequent,” said Michael Rourke, assistant special agent in charge for the FBI, in a statement.
Mikhaylich’s alleged crime wave began in Astoria at the Sovereign Bank at 37-10 Broadway Dec. 9, the FBI said. He struck again in Brooklyn at a Ridgewood Savings Bank at 85-22 Third Ave. Dec. 23, the FBI said. These Christmastime crimes led investigators to dub their suspect the “Holiday Bandit.”
He returned to Queens a week later on Dec. 30, robbing another Sovereign Bank at 24-29 Jackson Ave. in Long Island City, according to the FBI. Next he robbed a Capital One Bank at 31-17 Broadway in Astoria Jan. 19, the FBI said.
Mikhaylich’s next suspected crime occurred Feb. 4 at a Capital One Bank at 1411 Forest Ave. in Staten Island, the FBI said. He robbed another Capital One Bank Feb. 13 at 4612 13th Ave. in Brooklyn, the FBI said. The 13th Avenue robbery makes the latest crime in Astoria the second Holiday Bandit holdup within a week, according to the FBI. Mikhaylich has stolen more than $50,000 in total, the FBI said.
The FBI described Mikhaylich as a white man, approximately 6 foot 3 to 6 foot 5 and weighing about 200 pounds. Mikhaylich speaks Russian and usually calls himself “Mark” to English speakers. Those who have any information about the case should call either the task force at 212-384-1000 or the NYPD’s Crimestoppers line at 1-800-577-TIPS, the FBI said.
The bureau said it is offering a reward for information “that breaks the case.”
Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4564.
©2011 Community Newspaper Group
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