NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) - Newport News Police have arrested the man officers believe is the Fake Bearded Bandit, who is responsible for dozens of robberies.
Lou Thurston with the Newport News Police Department said officers responded to a report of someone possibly stealing items from vehicles in the area of 16th Street and Garden Drive Thursday around 9:15 p.m. After a short foot pursuit, the suspect was arrested.
As the investigation unfolded, Thurston said detectives became suspicious the suspect was involved in other crimes. The suspect, Ronald Wayne Carr, 38, of Newport News was subsequently charged in connection to several robberies in the Newport News area.
Officers believe Carr is the man dubbed the Fake Bearded Bandit. The suspect was notorious for robbing dozens of businesses while wearing a fake beard and eluded police and deputies for more than a year.
The investigation into the Fake Bearded Bandit spanned York County, Hampton and Newport News, soliciting effort from their respective police departments as well as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
"I think investigators in all three jurisdictions are breathing somewhat of a sigh of relief that these robberies, what this guy was doing, are stopped now," Thurston said.
Thurston said the crimes Carr could be responsible go back to December 2010.
Carr has been charged in Newport News with 14 counts of abduction, two counts of attempting to commit a felony, 12 counts of robbery and 28 counts of using a firearm in the commission of a felony.
In Hampton, Carr has been charged with four counts of use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, two counts of burglary while armed and two counts of robbery.
In York County, Carr has been charged with five counts of abduction, one count of robbery, one count of attempted robbery, two counts of using a firearm in the commission of a felony, two counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and one count of grand larceny.
Thurston said additional charges could be possible.
WAVY.com dug into Carr's criminal history and found he was convicted of rape in 1993 and placed on the state's sex offender registry.
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