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Posted at 02:36 PM ET, 11/23/2011

Va. mother wanted in carjacking, bank robberies

Surveillance photo from the BB&T Bank (Fairfax County Police)
Virginia police on Wednesday continued their search for a young mother who they say carjacked a woman at knife point and robbed two banks within the past week.

Stephanie L. Schwab, of Manassas area, is suspected of launching the unusual crime spree by robbing a Prince William County bank on Friday, police said. A day later, she allegedly posed as a student who had run out of gas, and used the ruse to carjack a driver outside the upscale Tysons Galleria mall in Fairfax county.

Then on Tuesday, authorities said, they think Schwab struck again, this time strolling into a BB&T Bank in Fairfax County bank, suggesting she had a weapon and demanding cash. Surveillance photos show a young woman in a black and white plaid coat, black pants and boots.

Schwab’s mother, Helen Schwab, told WRC (Channel 4) she hasn’t seen her daughter in about two weeks and that she has been caring for Stephanie Schwab’s children.

Surveillance photo from the BB&T Bank (Fairfax County Police)
“The only thing I know is she needs help and she needs a psychiatrist,” Helen Schwab told WRC (Channel 4). “I just want to say, Stephanie I love you and please turn yourself in. And no matter what happens I’ll stand by your side. Please think about the kids, and me and yourself.”

Fairfax County police said they have have issued warrants charging Schwab with carjacking and bank robbery. Prince William police said she also is a suspect in a bank robbery there.

Police said it began Friday at the Commerce Bank at 10830 Balls Ford Rd. in Manassas. A woman walked in at 9:18 a.m, implied that she had a handgun and demanded money, police said. She fled on foot with an undisclosed amount of cash.

On Saturday afternoon, Schwab allegedly approached a 59-year-old woman in the Tysons Galleria parking lot and asked for a ride to a gas station, police said.

Police said the victim invited Schwab into her silver 2003 Acura and they headed off, but soon after the suspect pulled out a knife and ordered the driver out. Authorities said the 59-year-old was left, uninjured, about a half-mile from the mall. Schwab, police said, drove off.

By  |  02:36 PM ET, 11/23/2011


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