Two banks in College Station were robbed early Monday morning, and authorities say the suspect is now in custody in Houston.
Monday morning, the University Drive and Harvey Road Citibank locations were robbed.
Around 11 a.m., the suspect's vehicle -- a white suburban with blue stripe and a damaged front grill -- was recovered at Blinn College's Bryan campus. Authorities say they then used a cell phone GPS system to track the suspect to the Guest Motel at I-45 and Tidwell in Houston, where he was apprehended by the Texas Rangers and United States Marshals. He was taken into custody early Monday afternoon and charged with robbery.
The suspect is, Patrick Frank Bigelow, an escapee from Fayette County, authorities say. Bigelow was in jail for numerous bank robberies in Texas, and was a suspect in the robbery the Harvey Road location in January among others. He was dubbed the Santa Claus bandit because he wore a wig and fake beard for many of his heists.
Bigelow, 44, escaped the Fayette County jail Sunday around 11 a.m. after he allegedly overpowered a female guard. A driver was waiting for him as he made his getaway. Police say he then abducted a 69-year-old man in nearby Fayetteville, drove him to Hempstead and left him bound to cinder blocks in an abandoned house. From there he drove the man's suburban and began the bank robbing spree. He later ditched the suburban at the Bryan campus of Blinn College. Two hours later he was arrested in Houston. It's unclear how he got to Houston from Bryan.
Police believe Bigelow's mother may have somehow aided in his escape.
We're told Texas Rangers are still at Blinn College investigating.
Blinn has put a notice on its web site, asking anyone who saw Bigelow in the college parking lot to call Blinn College Police at 209-7418.
A Code Maroon notice was issued to Texas A&M students, faculty and staff warning them of the robberies.
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