Black robber exposed as white man in mask

Conrad Zdzierak

Disguise: the man in the mask caught on CCTV, left, and Conrad Zdzierak, right

A white bank robber fooled detectives by wearing a Hollywood special effects mask that disguised him as a black man.

Conrad Zdzierak, 30, is accused of using the silicon mask for six robberies — five on the same day.

Believing they were searching for an African-American male, police in Springdale, Ohio, had released CCTV footage from the banks in a appeal for information.

But after a tip-off, officers found Zdzierak at the nearby Extended Stay America Hotel, where he is thought to have been living.

The interior of his Volvo was splattered with red dye from an exploding ink pack taken from a bank during one of the hauls, police said. Officers also discovered the $700 (£450) mask.

Lieutenant Michael Mathis of Springdale police admitted police had been fooled and said he had never seen anything like it.

“The suspect seen in the surveillance photographs we believed to be an African-American male,” he said. “The suspect was actually a male, white, who was wearing an elaborate disguise. He wore what I’m calling a Hollywood-quality’ mask.”

At Hamilton County municipal court, Zdzierak was charged with robbing five banks and a pharmacy. Five of the raids are said to have taken place on April 9. He is being held on a $3 million bond.

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