ERIE, Pa.March 13, 2013 - A former resident of Pensacola, Fla., who came to be known as the "Bucket List Bandit", pleaded guilty in federal court in Erie, Pa., to charges of bank robbery, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today. Michael Eugene Brewster, 54, pleaded guilty to 11 counts before United States District Judge Sean J. McLaughlin. Brewster pled guilty to one count of bank robbery alleged in an indictment filed in the Western District of Pennsylvania for a bank robbery occurring on Sept. 10, 2012. Brewster also waived indictment and pled guilty to bank robbery charges filed in an Information in the Western District of Pennsylvania, alleging 10 other bank robberies occurring in:Arvada, Colo., on June 21, 2012; Flagstaff, Ariz., on June 27, 2012; Pocatello, Idaho, on July 6, 2012; Roy, Utah, on July 6, 2012; Winston-Salem, N.C., on July 20, 1012; Altamonte Springs, Fla., on July 27, 2012; Chattanooga, Tenn., on Aug. 3, 2012; Bloomington, Ill., on Aug. 17, 2012;Colombia, Mo., on Aug. 29, 2012; and O'Fallon, Mo., on Aug. 30, 2012.
In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that between June 21, 2012, and
Sept. 10, 2012, Brewster robbed 11 banks across the nation. In the course of the bank robbery spree
Brewster used a similar method of operation and entered each bank, without being disguised, wore
similar clothes, carried a dark leather notebook, presented demand notes containing similar
threatening language to each of the victim tellers, and left the scene driving a 2009 black SUV,
which Brewster had stolen in Pensacola, Fla. In his last bank robbery in Erie, Penn., on Sept. 10,
2012, Brewster entered the Huntington National Bank, located at 2185 West 12th Street and
presented a demand note, claiming that he had a gun and that the teller had one minute to comply.
Brewster then claimed to the teller that he had cancer and did not care what happened. Brewster
obtained bank proceeds and fled the area in a black SUV. Bank surveillance images and images
from area surveillance cameras clearly depicted Brewster and the vehicle he used. Comparing the
Erie Huntington Bank surveillance photographs with those from the 10 other bank robberies that had
occurred throughout the United States confirmed that each robbery had been committed by the same
person. On Sept. 12, 2012, the FBI received a tip that the bank robber depicted in the surveillance
photographs was Brewster. A review of Brewster's Florida driver's license confirmed Brewster's
identity as the bank robber. In addition, evidence disclosed that an arrest warrant had been issued
for Brewster alleging that he had stolen a black Chevy Captiva SUV in Pensacola, Fla., on June 11,
2012. Once Brewster's identity had been established in the Erie robbery, the FBI and law
enforcement partners in the jurisdictions of the other 10 bank robberies confirmed his identity in
those cases as well.
According to the information provided to the court about the 10 other bank robberies,
Brewster entered the Chase Bank at 5250 Wadsworth Boulevard in Arvada, Colo., on June 21, 2012,
the Chase Bank at 1484 South Milton Road in Flagstaff, Ariz., on June 27, 2012; and the Ireland
Bank at 486 Yellowstone Avenue in Pocatello, Idaho, on July 6, 2012, and obtained federally
insured funds after presented a threatening note demanding money. In Roy, Utah, on July 6, 2012,
Brewster entered the Wells Fargo Bank located at 5603 South 1900 West, and obtained money after presenting a threatening demand note claiming that he had only four months to live. In Winston-Salem, N.C., on July 20, 1012, Brewster entered a Bank of America at 1209 Silas Creek Parkway and presented a threatening demand note indicating that he had nothing to lose and threatening to come back after the teller if any silent alarm was activated. Brewster obtained no money from the Wells Fargo Bank. Then, at the Regions Bank at 360 West State Road 436 in Altamonte Springs, Fla., on July 27, 2012, the BB&T bank at 2120 Gunbarrel Road in Chattanooga, Tenn., on Aug. 3 2012; the PNC bank at 2217 West Market Street in Bloomington, Ill., on Aug. 17, 2012; the Landmark Bank at 202 North Stadium Boulevard in Colombia, Mo., on Aug. 29, 2012; and the Lindell Bank at 4521 Highway K in O'Fallon, Mo., on Aug. 30, 2012, Brewster obtained money after presenting threatening demand notes, including a claim that he was armed with a gun.
Finally, according to information presented to the court, on Sept. 13, 2012, a police officer
with the Roland Police Department in Roland, Okla., conducted a traffic stop of a black, 2009,
Chevy Captiva vehicle and identified Brewster as the driver and sole occupant. A fake Utah license
plate had been affixed to the vehicle. A computer check of Brewster's name revealed Brewster's
outstanding arrest warrant in Pensacola, Fla., for allegedly stealing the Chevy Captiva vehicle.
Brewster was then taken into custody and was found to be in possession of money from the Erie,
Penn., Huntington Bank robbery. Among other items located in the Captiva vehicle was a handgun,
money from the Huntington Bank robbery, the clothing worn by Brewster in the bank robberies as
depicted in the surveillance photographs, and the leather notebook carried by Brewster into the
banks he robbed. Brewster was then arrested on the Erie, Penn., arrest warrant and he was returnedto the Western District of Pennsylvania to face federal prosecution.