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'Blond Bandit' arrested after bank robbery, chase

Wednesday - 11/30/2011, 3:02pm  ET

Stephanie Lynn Schwab was arrested after a chase. (WTOP/Bob Marbourg)
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Hank Silverberg,

WASHINGTON -- A local woman accused of two bank robberies and a carjacking has been arrested in Maryland after trying to rob another bank.

Stephanie Schwab, 26, was caught Wednesday after a police chase around the Beltway that went from Virginia into Maryland, according to Fairfax County Police.

Police say they responded to an attempted robbery at a BB&T bank in McLean just before 1 p.m.

Law enforcement then followed her around the Beltway until she crashed near Old Georgetown Road and Interstate 495.

Schwab, who has been referred to as the "Blond Bandit," was caught after a short foot chase.

Police believe it was Schwab of Manassas who hitched a ride at a Safeway supermarket at the corner of Baltimore National Pike and Ingleside Avenue in Baltimore County on Thanksgiving Day.

Once the driver took her to another supermarket on the Baltimore Pike, the woman then tried to steal the car by holding the female driver at knifepoint, Baltimore County Detective Kathy Batton says.

"She clearly presents as non-threatening because our driver allowed her to get into the vehicle," says Batton.

Schwab escaped on foot. Police found a 2003 Silver Acura at the Safeway parking lot, Batton says. It was allegedly stolen by Schwab in a Fairfax County carjacking.

Schwab is also wanted for a bank robbery at the BB&T bank branch on Old Keene Mill Road in Fairfax County on Nov. 22 and a bank robbery at the Virginia Commerce Bank on Balls Ford Road in Prince William County on Nov. 18.

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