The search for a man who has robbed 17 banks may have been arrested after 10 months on Monday. The robberies took place in Newark, New Jersey by a man known as the “Mad Hatter.” His real name has not yet been released, but his nickname derives from the different types of hats that he wears as he commits his crimes.

His final hit was at a Bank of America branch located inside a supermarket around 11:30 a.m. on Sunday in which he took $5,000, marking the 18th bank that he has struck bringing his grand total loot to $75,000. Despite his dramatic nickname, the suspect was anything but dramatic. He never made a scene inside the banks. He simply handed the tellers a threatening note demanding money and went on his way. Aside from the hat, which he changed to mark appropriate weather conditions, he had no distinguishing features. He is a white, middle-aged man of average height. In fact, his appearance is so general that even local residents have been mistaken for the thief. He didn’t wear gloves, which would have been suspicious, and he was careful not to touch anything so as not to leave prints. He always implied in his notes that he had a gun or a chemical substance in the folders he carried.

His final hit was at a Bank of America branch located inside a supermarket around 11:30 a.m. on Sunday in which he took $5,000, marking the 18 bank that he has struck bringing his grand total loot to $75,000. Despite his dramatic nickname, the suspect was anything but dramatic. He never made a scene inside the banks. He simply handed the tellers a threatening note demanding money and went on his way. Aside from the hat, which he changed to mark appropriate weather conditions, he had no distinguishing features. He is a white, middle-aged man of average height. In fact, his appearance is so general that even local residents have been mistaken for the thief. He didn’t wear gloves, which would have been suspicious, and he was careful not to touch anything so as not to leave prints. He always implied in his notes that he had a gun or a chemical substance in the folders he carried.Police believe that the suspect may have a history with banks. He has used several terms associated with banking that the average person may not know such as “dye packs,” “strapped money,” and “bait money.” They don’t believe he committed these robberies to support a drug habit but simply money problems. He was known to strike once about every two weeks between Thursday and Sunday. They believe this pattern could mean that he has a regular job and committed his crimes after he got off from work. Other theories were that he had been laid off by a job, had a sick family member, or large medical bills.

In their search for the thief, the police had caught him on camera inside a CVS store after one of the robberies. The bag had been disposed of in a trash can outside the store, and the receipt in the bag showed that a sleep aid had been purchased, though nothing further could be determined from the bag. Police also got a break back in May 2007 when the teller at the 15th bank that the Mad Hatter was robbing managed to stick a dye pack in the bag. Another dye pack was inserted in the Hatter’s 17th robbery right in his face. During this robbery, police also got their best pictures of the suspect thanks to new surveillance cameras installed just behind the teller stations at eye level. Hopefully for everyone involved, this arrest marks the end of his run.

For related articles visit http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,290381,00.html and http://www.amw.com/fugitives/case.cfm?id=43932.

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