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'Bucket List Bandit' nabbed in Oklahoma traffic stop

FBI via AP

Surveillance photos provided by the FBI's St. Louis office show a serial bank robber dubbed the Bucket List Bandit on, from left, June 21, June 27 and July 6. Michael Eugene Brewster, 54, was arrested Thursday night after a traffic stop in Roland, Okla., the FBI said.

A suspect in a series of bank robberies that earned the perpetrator the nickname "Bucket List Bandit" is under arrest after a routine traffic stop by Roland, Okla., police, the FBI announced Friday.

Michael Eugene Brewster, 54, of Pensacola, Fla., was arrested Thursday, police said. Brewster is wanted in at least 10 bank robberies from Flagstaff, Ariz., to Erie, Pa., where a teller picked out his photo from a lineup after a Monday heist, the FBI said.

The suspect earned the nickname "Bucket List Bandit" after he allegedly passed a Roy, Utah, bankteller a note on July 6 saying he had only four months to live, the FBI said.


Roland Assistant Police Chief David Goode told NBC News he arrested Brewster after he ran a stop sign Thursday night in the town of about 3,000 just west of Fort Smith, Ark.

“Subsequent to the stop, red flags were raised,” Goode said.

He said he could not go into too many specifics.

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“I placed him under arrest unrelated to the bank robbery,” Goode said.

Brewster was driving a car reported stolen from Pensacola, Goode said. “That was just another charge,” he said.

After Brewster was taken into custody, police learned Brewster “could have been possibly involved in more serious crimes,” Goode said.

The FBI told The Associated Press that besides Flagstaff, Roy and Erie, Brewster was wanted in connection with robberies in Pocatello, Idaho; Winston-Salem, N.C.; Chattanooga, Tenn.; Bloomington, Ill.; Columbia and O'Fallon, Mo., and Arvada, Colo., the Denver suburb where his alleged crime spree began.

The agency had issued a nationwide appeal for the public’s help in finding the serial bank robbery suspect.

After the Erie robbery, a confidential informant called to give agents Brewster's name and birth date after recognizing his picture in media accounts, the FBI told the AP. A federal warrant doesn't say how the person knew that information.

Investigators haven't said whether they've confirmed if Brewster is terminally ill.

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The federal warrant doesn't identify Brewster’s hometown, but indicates he's wanted for borrowing a black Chevy Captiva from a woman in Pensacola on June 11 and not returning it. The vehicle was similar to one described by witnesses at several of the robberies.

No one has been hurt in any of the robberies and officials aren't saying how much money was taken, except for $4,080 from the Erie bank, which was disclosed in the FBI arrest warrant.

This article includes reporting by NBC's Jim Gold and The Associated Press.

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