FBI: Robbery Suspect Likely the “Silent Bandit”
Investigators are still not saying for sure whether the man arrested Thursday in Mount Pocono for allegedly robbing a bank there is the “Silent Bandit.”
That’s a nick name a robber in the Philadelphia and New Jersey areas got because he used no words when holding up banks.
Fawzi Atra, 42, was in federal court Friday afternoon answering charges for that bank robbery in Mount Pocono.
The FBI will only say he is a suspect in robberies at five other banks in New Jersey and the Philadelphia area, linked to the so-called “Silent Bandit.”
Authorities said he always wore a hat and kept his head low. Investigators believe the man would walk into banks, silently hand the teller a threatening note, and get away with hundreds of dollars at a time.
And get away he did.
The FBI believes for the past two weeks, the man nicknamed the “Silent Bandit” robbed five other banks, in Lehigh and Bucks counties, as well as central New Jersey.
Authorities believe he did them all in the same manner, with a simple note demanding money.
That spree may have ended on Thursday, when Fawzi Atra allegedly walked into the E.S.S.A Bank in Mt. Pocono and demanded money.
Police said Atra entered the bank around noon and got away with $1,500.
By the time police got there, Atra was gone. He was later picked up along Route 611 by state police and charged with robbery.
Atra appeared in federal court in Wilkes-Barre this Friday afternoon.
So far he has only been charged with Thursday’s robbery in Monroe County.
The FBI said he is only a suspect in those other robberies committed by the “Silent Bandit.”
Atra was sent back to the Lackawanna County jail without bail.