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'Blond bandit' pleads guilty to Northern Virginia bank robberies

The Northern Virginia woman, referred to by area police as the "blond bandit," has pleaded guilty to three charges, including bank robbery.

The 26-year-old woman, whose case has previously been written about by this blog, admitted in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Virginia, that she pulled off the series of crimes in November 2011. She pleaded guilty to one count each of bank robbery, conspiracy to distribute heroin and transporting a stolen vehicle.

She confessed to a carjacking at the Tysons Corner shopping area and bank robberies in Fairfax and Prince William counties, according to court documents.

Police said in one instance the woman displayed a note to a bank teller stating she had a gun and wanted $10,000. Instead, records show $1,400 was stolen.

Authorities said she then took a 2007 Chrysler that her relatives had reported stolen the previous day. Police said the car had been used in the bank robbery before she abandoned it.

Then she approached a woman at Tysons Corner and asked her to take her to a gas station, prosecutors said. The suspect allegedly took control of the steering wheel and ordered the driver to pull over. As she did, the driver noticed the woman had a knife and jumped out of the car, according to court records.

Police caught up with her as the woman pulled away from the unsuccessful bank robbery.

Once in custody, she also admitted to working for three years to import heroin into the Northern Virginia area, selling it to dealers in the Manassas area.

She will face up to 35 years in prison when the judge sentences her later this year. According to reports, she testified in a 2005 murder trial involving a gang, then entered the Witness Protection Program.

As previously reported, the woman pled not guilty in a previous court appearance. If it appears there is enough evidence for a conviction, a plea agreement may be the best option, but it's not a decision that one should make lightly.

Source: InsideNOVA, "Blond bandit' pleads guilty,'" Amanda Stewart, April 5, 2012

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