FBI arrests suspect in ‘Biddy Bandit’ bank robberies across Phoenix area

Mar 14, 2019, 3:58 PM | Updated: 4:10 pm
(FBI Photo)...
(FBI Photo)
(FBI Photo)

PHOENIX – Thanks to an anonymous tip, the FBI has arrested a woman believed to be the Valley bank robbery suspect known as the “Biddy Bandit.”

The agency’s Phoenix office announced Thursday that 56-year-old Elizabeth Ainslie was taken into custody without incident Tuesday and charged with three bank robberies and two attempted bank robberies.

In December, the FBI sought the public’s help in identifying the suspect and released security camera photos.

At the time, Phoenix Police Sgt. Robert Scherer of the FBI’s Violent Crimes Task Force explained the suspect’s unusual nickname.

“Biddy, if you look up the definition, it’s described as an older female who, for the lack of a better term, isn’t necessarily nice,” he told KTAR News 92.3 FM.

The public came through with the tip that led to Ainslie’s arrest, the FBI said in a press release.

Ainslie has been accused of robbing or trying to rob the following branches last year:

  • Aug. 4: Chase Bank, 2950 W. Peoria Ave., Phoenix
  • Sept. 10: Wells Fargo, 1901 S. Gilbert Road, Mesa
  • Nov. 14: Chase Bank, 4714 S. Rural Road, Tempe
  • Nov. 24, Chase Bank, 2950 W. Peoria Ave., Phoenix
  • Dec. 8: Chase Bank, 4250 W. Thunderbird Road, Phoenix

The suspect presented a teller with a demand note each time before fleeing on foot, either empty-handed or with an undisclosed amount of money.

The suspect wore dark sunglasses during the crimes and had her head covered with either a hat or a black wig.

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FBI arrests suspect in ‘Biddy Bandit’ bank robberies across Phoenix area