NW Bad Hair Bandit Admits to 20-plus Robberies Including Richland Yakima Federal
The woman who became known as the Bad Hair Bandit for her numerous disguises while robbing banks has admitted to at least 20 incidents across the Western US.
Cynthia Van Holland, originally from Hayden Idaho, admitted in court in Spokane that she committed at least 20 bank robberies in WA, OR, Idaho and California. According to court documents, the total is 21 banks hit, to the tune of $49,000. Her spree began in December 2010 when she robbed a US Bank in Tacoma. At first she did not garner significant attention, but as she continued to rob various institutions, news stories popped up about the woman (some even thought she was a man disguised as a female) using various disguises to hold up the banks. She also confounded investigators by varying and expanding her locations. After hitting Tacoma, she then robbed banks in Spokane, Moses Lake, and the latest in California. She also robbed the Yakima Federal branch in Richland, just a block from the police station. Had she not attempted to hit the bank in Auburn CA, she most likely would have been able to elude detection. FBI officials had few leads prior to a witness getting a description of her getaway vehicle, which was pulled over by police 12 miles from the bank. Van Holland has been cooperating with officials, and provided enough information to confirm she is, indeed, the Bad Hair Bandit. Ironically, she was NOT wearing a disguise when she robbed the CA bank.