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Jul 23,2007
Suspect held in N.J. 'Hat' bank robberies
by UPI

NEWARK, N.J. -- The FBI says it believes it has the notorious Hat Bandit in custody, ending a string of around 17 bank robberies in New Jersey.

Agents picked up James Madison, 50, on suspicion of being the bandit whose trademark was a series of different hats covering his shaved head.

The Newark Star-Ledger said late Monday that Madison was apparently released from prison in 2005 after serving 18 years in prison for the 1986 slaying of his girlfriend, Terry Lee Wells.

The Hat Bandit is alleged to have stolen more than $60,000 in heists that began last September and took place at banks in four counties.

Agents said they were led to the suspect a few hours after a Sunday robbery in Union Township. Witnesses were being asked to help confirm Madison, who was in custody in Newark, was indeed the robber.

Copyright © 2007, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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