- The Washington Times - Monday, November 14, 2005

Law enforcement officials in Fairfax and Loudoun counties yesterday identified a woman they suspect has robbed four banks in Northern Virginia while appearing to talk on a cell phone.

Candice Rose Martinez, 19, of Chantilly, is wanted on charges of robbing a Wachovia Bank in Fairfax County Oct. 22 and a Wachovia Bank in Loudoun County Nov. 4. She also is suspected in an Oct. 12 bank robbery in Vienna, Va., and an Oct. 21 bank robbery in Prince William County.

“She was identified by numerous citizens and our detectives worked throughout the weekend on those tips and developed her as the suspect,” said Officer Shelley Broderick, a Fairfax County police spokeswoman.

Miss Martinez was identified after officials released surveillance-camera footage and photos of a female suspect last week. The case received national media exposure, and police said callers claiming to know the woman or to have seen her flooded tip lines over the weekend.

“Crime Solvers received over 30 calls on [the incident],” Officer Broderick said. “A good number of those calls were directly referencing her.”

Authorities in Fairfax and Loudoun counties have issued separate warrants for Miss Martinez’s arrest. She has not been charged in the incidents in Vienna and Prince William County.

In all four robberies, police said a woman entered the bank while holding a cell phone to her ear before passing a note demanding money to a teller. Police said they do not know if the woman was actually talking on the phone or simply using it as a prop.

“There’s speculation that she could be talking to an accomplice, somebody who’s outside,” said Fairfax County police spokeswoman Mary Mulrenan. “Or it could be that she’s not talking, but just using it to blend in. At this point we don’t know, but certainly we’ll be looking into that.”

During the Nov. 4 robbery — in the Ashburn community of Loudoun County — the woman showed the teller a gun hidden in her purse before handing the teller a note.

Kraig Troxell, a spokesman for the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office, said Fairfax and Loudoun authorities conducted a joint search of Miss Martinez’s residence at 4001 Spring Pond Place in Chantilly during the weekend, but did not recover a gun.

“We consider her armed and dangerous,” he said. “We’re concerned because obviously she was escalating threats during the commission of these robberies.”

Miss Martinez was described as about 5-feet-5-inches tall, weighing about 120 pounds, with dark, curly hair.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to call Loudoun County Crime Solvers at 703/777-1919 or Fairfax County Crime Solvers at 866/411-TIPS.

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