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Arlington bank robbery suspected charged

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The man who police believe nonchalantly pulled off six bank robberies in Arlington County this summer was arrested in the District on Friday just a few weeks after photographs of him — wearing the variety of hats and glasses police allege he donned during the heists — were plastered across the region.

Peter Cifala, 57, of the District was charged with one count of bank robbery in an Aug. 16 incident at a BB&T branch in the 3000 block of Washington Boulevard.

“It has to be a relief to bank employees and the people who frequent the banks,” said Detective Crystal Nosal, an Arlington police spokeswoman. “As for police, I know that we are always happy to show our residents that we fully investigate crimes and are out there working to lock the suspects up.”

Police said Cifala was arrested with the help of tips that poured in after his face, captured by surveillance cameras, was publicized in the media.

Police were in a race to catch someone before another robbery occurred. They said Cifala robbed one more bank — the one he is charged with — after the picture was widely distributed.

Investigators said Cifala is responsible for six of the nine bank robberies in Arlington this year. Last year, there were three.

Cifala’s record includes multiple arrests on larceny, theft and other charges dating to the early 1990s in the District, Maryland and Virginia, records show. He has several aliases, including the name Peter Outlaw, according to online records.

Authorities believe the Arlington robbery spree began in early June and continued through last week. He targeted banks on Washington Boulevard and Lee Highway, authorities said, and he has twice robbed a BB&T branch in the 5500 block of Lee Highway — June 16 and Aug. 4.

Cifala’s criminal history includes four guilty pleas in Arlington for larceny charges between 1994 and 2002, records show. He pleaded guilty to a theft charge in Montgomery County in 1995.

His attorney, Jason S. Rucker, declined to comment on his client or the case.

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