Prince William County police
Stephanie Lynn Schwab, 26, is a former gang member accused of a recent spate of crimes in the Virginia-Maryland area.
By NBCWashington.com and msnbc.com
A so-called "blond bandit" suspected of multiple heists in Virginia has been linked to another crime, this one a carjacking on Thanksgiving Day in Maryland.
Stephanie Lynn Schwab, 26, described as a 5'3'' white female with blond hair and green eyes, earned her nickname after being named in connection with an earlier carjacking and two bank robberies, all of which took place between Nov. 18 and Nov. 21, according to Virginia's InsideNova.com.
In Thursday's incident, Baltimore County police say Schwab asked a woman for a ride from the parking lot of a Safeway supermarket to a Shoppers Food Warehouse. But when the victim stopped her car, Schwab allegedly displayed a knife and told her to keep driving.
The victim asked a nearby man for help, at which point the suspect attempted to climb into the driver's seat. The victim tried to grab the knife from Schwab and was cut on the hand, officials said. Schwab then fled on foot, police said, according to InsideNova.com.
Schwab is also wanted in an armed carjacking on Nov. 19 of a silver 2003 Acura.
In that incident, a 59-year-old woman had offered the suspect a ride from the parking lot of Neiman Marcus at the Tysons Corner shopping center in Virginia. They left together in the Acura, but at a nearby intersection, the suspect showed a knife and told the victim to get out of the car. That victim was left at the intersection, reported NBCWashington.com. The Acura was found on Friday. Detectives connected Schwab to the crime and have obtained a warrant for her arrest.
Schwab also has been linked to a Nov. 18 bank robbery in Prince William County, Va. She may have been involved in another bank robbery Nov. 22, at a BB&T in Springfield, Va.
She was last seen Thursday, running eastbound on Route 40 towards Baltimore City. She has no known connection to that area, and may be staying in a motel, waiting for a chance to commandeer a getaway car, reported WBALTV.com. Police are asking drivers to use caution, as the suspect may approach vehicles asking for a ride.
Former gang member
Schwab, of Manassas, Va., is a former member of the MS-13 gang, according to court records. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported that she joined the group after running away from home at the age of 12. She reportedly had a fellow gang member's child three years later, and is now a mother of two, reported WBALTV.com. In 2005, Schwab testified against MS-13 members in a murder trial, reported InsideNova.com.
Police don't know what prompted the recent robbery spree.
Anyone with information is asked to call Baltimore County Police at 410-307-2020 or Metro Crime Stoppers at 866-7-LOCKUP (866-756-2587). To text a tip to Metro Crime Stoppers, send to "CRIMES" (274637), then enter the message starting with "MCS," or e-mail a tip to www.metrocrimestoppers.org.
Those contacting Metro Crime Stoppers can remain anonymous and might be eligible for a cash reward of up to $2,000.