Suspected Cell Phone Bandit Arrested

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FBI agents arrested a woman Tuesday who was suspected of robbing four banks in suburban Virginia while appearing to be talking on a cell phone.

Candice R. Martinez, 19, was arrested just before 4 a.m. at a home in nearby Centreville, Va. after an FBI agent spotted a car nearby with license plates they had been searching for.

The FBI had issued a bulletin a few hours earlier saying Martinez and her boyfriend could be heading to Texas, New Mexico or New York, said Debbie Weirman, a spokeswoman from the FBI's Washington Field Office.

"It was a wonderful stroke of luck that (the agent) happened to spot that license plate, and everything unfolded safely and without incident," Weirman told WRC-TV.

Martinez is suspected of robbing four banks in nearby Virginia communities over the past few weeks. Security cameras filmed the suspect walking up to tellers and handing them a note demanding cash — all while appearing to be chatting on her cell phone.

Investigators weren't sure whether Martinez was actually talking to someone while she demanded cash or if it was just a cover, Weirman said.

FBI Special Agent Ron Chavarro, who spotted the car agents were looking for, ordered two people out of the vehicle and they led investigators to a house nearby where Martinez was staying, Chavarro said.

Her boyfriend had been arrested a little while earlier, authorities said. It was not immediately clear whether charges would be filed against some other people who were with Martinez at the time of her arrest.