Monday, February 28, 2011
Branching out: 'Holiday Bandit' bank robber Marat Mikhaylich strikes in New Jersey
The city's Most Wanted bank robber is branching out.
Cops said Sunday that the man who robbed a Sovereign Bank branch in Woodbridge, N.J., Friday afternoon was "Holiday Bandit" Marat Mikhaylich.
It's his eighth heist and the first time Mikhaylich has struck outside New York, police said.
"He continues to be a problem," said FBI spokesman Peter Donald.
Mikhaylich is suspected of robbing seven city banks - four in Queens, two in Brooklyn and one on Staten Island - in a brazen spree that began in December, the origin of his "holiday" nickname.
His estimated total take: more than $50,000, the feds say.
In one attack, he robbed a second teller at the same Capital One Bank in Borough Park because he wasn't satisfied with his take from the first. It wasn't clear how much he got in the New Jersey stickup.
As in the previous holdups, the robber handed a computer-printed note to a teller at gunpoint.
"It was the same M.O.," Donald said.
The feds declined to speculate on why the gawky goon left New York for the Garden State, but his crime spree has generated intense publicity in the city's media.
Mikhaylich stands about 6-feet-5 and weighs 210 pounds, the FBI says. The 35-year-old Ukraine-born heistmeister speaks Russian and goes by "Mark" rather than "Marat," the FBI said. He has no prior criminal record, officials said.
Anyone with info about Mikhaylich is asked to call (212) 384-1000. The FBI is offering a "significant reward" for tips leading to his capture.