LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The FBI said it was investigating whether a man arrested in a northern Kentucky bank robbery is connected to a series of other bank robberies linked to a suspect known as the "Sock Hat Bandit."
The Independence Police Department said 31-year-old Brian Parnell of Dayton, Ohio, was arrested Thursday after a robbery at a Fifth-Third bank. He faces first-degree robbery and other charges and is being held on a $1 million cash bond.
Parnell appeared in Kenton Circuit Court on Friday, where a preliminary hearing was set for June 23. It wasn't immediately clear whether Parnell has an attorney.
Authorities say he was captured in Covington after leading police on a high-speed car chase during which he hit at least two other vehicles before crashing into a tree. He then ran, but was quickly captured by Covington police.
Police say he admitted to 9 of ten area bank robberies during an interview with the FBI after his arrest, including the one at Fifth-Third in Independence.
A police citation says Parnell passed a note to a teller at the Fifth-Third bank stating that this was a robbery and he had a gun in his waist. The citation says the teller gave him cash and he fled.
Police said they found both the cash and the note on Parnell when they arrested him.
The FBI said last week it was seeking the identity of the Sock Hat Bandit, who is linked to bank robberies over the last two months in Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana. Bank photos show the suspect covering his head with different knitted hats, but not covering his face.
The FBI, which was offering a $5,000 reward for information, said the Sock Hat Bandit hands a note to bank tellers claiming to have a gun, but no one has been hurt.
Independence police referred calls on Friday to the FBI, which declined to comment beyond a written statement that said the agency is working with local police departments to determine if Thursday's robbery is connected to the others.