A white man who carried out six brazen bank robberies wearing a silicone mask designed to resemble a black man, faces up to 35 years in prison when he is sentenced on January 7, 2011.
On Monday, Conrad Zdzierak, 30, pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated robbery and five counts of robbery in exchange for dismissal of 12 charges. The mask was so lifelike that police initially arrested a black man for the crimes.
From the DailyMail:
‘Conrad apologises to everyone, is sorry for any harm he has caused and accepts responsibility for his actions,’ his lawyer Christopher McDowell said.
Zdzierak stole about $15,000 in the robberies of four banks, a credit union and a pharmacy that occurred in March and April – crimes in which witnesses reported that the robber was black and surveillance video appeared to show a black man.
Zdzierak’s masked resemblance to the black man who was initially arrested was so similar that some witnesses even identified a photo of the black man as the one who robbed them, McDowell said.
The prosecutor’s office would not release the name of the wrongly accused man.
Zdzierak was arrested at a hotel after his girlfriend called police after seeing reports of the robberies and finding two masks and money stained by dye that is used to track robbers, The Cincinnati Enquirer reported.