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'Cell Phone Bandit' Confesses

A photo provided by the Fairfax County, Va., Police Department shows Candice R. Martinez, 19, who was arrested by the FBI agents Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2005, suspected of robbing four banks in suburban Virginia while appearing to be talking on a cell phone.
AP/Fairfax County Police Dept.
It appears the suspected cell phone bandit has confessed.

An FBI affidavit filed in federal court in Alexandria, Va., today says 19-year-old Candice Martinez admitted being responsible for robbing four Wachovia Bank branches in northern Virginia. She was seen on surveillance video talking on her cell phone during the heists.

The court papers also reveal Martinez's boyfriend, Dave Williams, confessed to driving the getaway car in all four heists. Williams had once worked at one of the branches.

In one incident detailed in the affidavit, Martinez allegedly showed the teller a box with a note demanding $75,000. She got less than $15,000. None of the cash from any of the heists has been recovered.

Martinez was arrested just before 4 a.m. at a home in nearby Centreville, Va. after an FBI agent spotted a car nearby with license plates they had been searching for.

CBS News Correspondent Jim Stewart reports she was arrested without incident and was unarmed at the time.

The FBI had issued a bulletin a few hours earlier saying Martinez and her boyfriend could be heading to Texas, New Mexico or New York, said Debbie Weirman, a spokeswoman from the FBI's Washington Field Office.

"It was a wonderful stroke of luck that (the agent) happened to spot that license plate, and everything unfolded safely and without incident," Weirman told WRC-TV.

Martinez is suspected of robbing four banks in nearby Virginia communities over the past few weeks. Security cameras filmed the suspect walking up to tellers and handing them a note demanding cash — all while appearing to be chatting on her cell phone.

Investigators weren't sure whether Martinez was actually talking to someone while she demanded cash or if it was just a cover, Weirman said.

The surveillance video has been shown nationwide, Stewart points out. It's not yet known whom she was talking with, or even if she was talking at all.

Minutes after the video was shown, Stewart reports for The Early Show, police received 30 phone calls identifying her.

FBI Special Agent Ron Chavarro, who spotted the car agents were looking for, ordered two people out of the vehicle and they led investigators to a house nearby where Martinez was staying, Chavarro said.

Her boyfriend had been arrested a little while earlier, authorities said. It was not immediately clear whether charges would be filed against some other people who were with Martinez at the time of her arrest.