Alleged "Hard Hat" Serial Robber May Be in Custody - NBC4 Washington

Alleged "Hard Hat" Serial Robber May Be in Custody



    Northern Virginia Bureau reporter David Culver reports on a suspect believed to be behind a series of bank robberies in northern Virginia. (Published Friday, Jan. 17, 2014)

    Fairfax County police believe they've figured out the identity of the elusive "hard hat bandit" responsible for a string of bank robberies in the past month.

    They've issued a search warrant, obtained by News4's Northern Virginia Bureau, that identifies 38-year-old Raynell Edwards of District Heights, Md., as a suspect that police believe robbed banks in Fairfax County, Loudoun County and Alexandria, all while wearing a hard hat and reflective vest.

    Fairfax County police would not confirm that Edwards is the alleged serial robber, but they said they obtained a warrant for an arrest in connection to the crimes.

    A search warrant for Edwards' cellphone shows that police believe Edwards may be behind at least five of the nine recent robberies.

    In most of the cases, the robber handed the teller a note demanding cash, then fled the scene. Witnesses in several of the robberies noticed a similar Buick Sedan and wrote down the license plate, according to the warrant.

    Fairfax County police tracked the vehicle to an address in District Heights, Md.

    Immediately following a bank heist on Jan. 8, officers headed to Edwards' address. A short time later, he pulled up in the Buick sedan, and Prince George's County police arrested him on a separate warrant for burglary and theft.

    Police found dye stains from a dye pack used to identify stolen money and a silver handgun in the vehicle's trunk, according to the warrant. The gun matched the description of the one seen at robberies by the hard hat bandit.

    Fairfax County police said they have not yet executed the arrest warrant for their suspect. While they would not confirm the identity of the suspect, they added that he was not a risk to the public.

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