(NEW YORK) — The FBI has nabbed the “Bucket List Bandit” – so dubbed because he told bank tellers he had a gun and only four months to live – ending a spree of bank robberies that spanned nine states in three months.
Michael Brewster, 54, of Pensacola, Fla. was arrested on Thursday after Roland Police pulled him over for a routine traffic stop on the border of Arkansas and Oklahoma.
Police realized he was driving a car reported stolen out of Florida that had been fitted with a Utah license plate.
The traffic stop came three days after Brewster allegedly robbed a bank in Erie, Penn., prompting the FBI to launch an all-out digital assault on him by plastering his face on billboards, posters, TV stations and the Internet.
A tip that the bandit was in fact Brewster came in on Wednesday, and he was arrested in Oklahoma on Thursday.
Since Brewster’s arrest, his former landlord told ABC News that he was evicted from his Pensacola apartment on June 14, just seven days before he allegedly drove his stolen car to Colorado to commit the first robbery.
He would go on to rob a total of ten banks before law enforcement caught up with him, always telling bank tellers that he had only months to live.
“Was this guy really terminally ill or was he just trying to be a mastermind?” asked law enforcement expert and crime analyst Rod Wheeler on Good Morning America.
Brewster never said what he was dying from or why he needed the money, according to investigators.
“The fact that this guy committed not one…but a total of 10 bank robberies is a little startling,” Wheeler said. “And the fact that he got away with these crimes is even more startling.”
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Lauren del Valle, CNN
Jackie Wattles and Amanda Barnett, CNN
Ashley Strickland, CNN
Matt McFarland, CNN