Holiday Bandit Says ‘I Did It’
The armed bandit who became one of New York’s Most Wanted criminals earlier this year, pleaded guilty last week to numerous charges for his stickups at banks throughout the city.
Marat Mikhaylich, 35, who was dubbed the Holiday Bandit for his crime spree last Christmas season, admitted in Brooklyn Federal Court that he held up a total of seven banks citywide in a heroin-fueled crime spree from December 2010 to February 2011.
Mikhaylich pocketed more than $70,000 from banks in Queens and Brooklyn and has agreed to make restitution for the stolen cash, the U.S. Attorney’s office said.
The holiday ended for Mikhaylich on March 28, when federal agents, working on a tip provided by an informant, arrested Mikhaylich in a vehicle he allegedly stole on March 28, after robbing yet another bank in Edison, New Jersey.
Mikhaylich was taken into custody without incident, at a location on 91st Avenue in Jamaica, Queens, authorities said.
The FBI had been searching for Mikhaylich for holdups that included the December 9 robbery of a Sovereign Bank on Broadway in Astoria, the December 20 robbery of Sovereign Bank on Jackson Avenue in Long Island City, the January 19 robbery of a CapitalOne Bank on Broadway in Astoria, a February 13 holdup at CapitalOne in Brooklyn and the February 16 robbery of an Investors Savings Bank on Broadway in Astoria.
In each robbery, Mikhaylich pointed a black handgun at a teller and demanded cash, authorities said. In the January 19 CapitalOne robbery he told the teller, “Give me the cash or I’ll shoot.” The terrified teller complied and handed over $11,000 to the gunman, police said.
During the February 13 holdup at CapitalOne, Mikhaylich held up two tellers because he wasn’t happy with the amount of cash he got from the first teller, prosecutors said.
A native of Ukraine, Mikhaylich faces up to 17 years in prison when he is sentenced later this year.