Alleged 'Band-Aid Bandit' bank robber arrested Thursday at his Valhalla home

(12/13/03) VALHALLA - A man called the "Band-aid Bandit" has been arrested for allegedly robbing area banks. Federal Agents arrested Jason Battista at his Valhalla home Thursday night. Cops say the 27-year-old man is suspected of robbing 15 banks in the tri-state area. The net worth of his alleged heists is believed to be just short of $50,000.

Battista's spree began on August 23 in Rockland County. Two days later, cops say he unsuccessfully tried to rob the Greenpoint Bank in White Plains. FBI agents arrested Battista in last Thursday night without incident at his Valhalla home after a bank employee recognized him and called the cops. He is now behind bars facing federal charges.

Battista earned the nickname of the "Band-Aid Bandit" for wearing bandages on his face as an attempt to disguise himself during most of the bank robberies of which he is suspected. In each of the "band-aid" robberies, the bandit used a handwritten note that included profanity and a demand for money.

Officials tell News 12 Westchester that a collaborative effort between a number of local police departments and the FBI contributed to Battista's arrest. Police also said this was not the first time Battista was in trouble with the law. He has one prior arrest for DWI, but now the charges he is facing could land him in prison for life. So far, Jason Battista has been charged with three federal counts of bank robbery. If convicted, he faces a maximum of 20 years in prison on each count. Currently, he is being held without bail in Connecticut.

Battista's arrest follows another high-profile bank robbery case. Pamela Kaychen was known as "The Blonde Bandit" because of her long blond wig. She pleaded guilty to robbing two Westchester banks in May. Like Battista, she was wanted in connection with a string of other area bank heists and now faces federal charges.

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