A man suspected in a monthslong string of bank robberies across New England was arrested Thursday in Connecticut, federal authorities said.
Taylor Dziczek, who'd been dubbed "The Route 91 Bandit," has been under investigation over 14 bank and credit union robberies — and one attempted robbery — in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire and Vermont dating back to September 2021, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Connecticut.
Dziczek, who's from Chicopee, Massachusetts, was caught after FBI agents following him were able to collect the 30-year-old's DNA from a Red Bull drink he had at the MGM Casino in Springfield this October, officials said. The DNA matched money wrappers he'd left behind at a bank robbery in Plainville in May.
The charges Dziczek was arrested on stem from that bank robbery alone; the federal complaint against him doesn't directly connect him with the other bank robberies, which took place between September 2021 and this August, in which he's suspected. They all appeared to be conducted by the same person, officials said.
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If he's convicted of the bank robbery crime, Dziczek faces up to 20 years in prison. He appeared in federal court in Hartford Thursday and was held; it wasn't immediately clear if he had an attorney who could speak to the charge.
In the Plainville robbery, Dziczek allegedly gave a teller a note that indicated he had a gun. When the teller said she didn't have more money than what she gave him, he pulled what appeared to be a gun from his sweatshirt's pocket and said, among other things, "Don't be a hero," officials said.
In February, the FBI issued a $10,000 reward for information leading to the bandit's capture.
"We need to put a stop to this man’s crime spree before someone gets hurt. He’s considered armed and dangerous," Joseph R. Bonavolonta, special agent in charge of the FBI Boston Division, said in a statement at the time.