Suspect in Mount Pleasant bank heist appears to be New Jersey’s ‘boastful bandit’
MOUNT PLEASANT — A man arrested in a holdup Wednesday at SunTrust Bank appears to be the ex-con once known as the “boastful bandit” for his penchant for taunting police in his native New Jersey after his crimes.
Craig S. Ozarowski, 55, of Belmark, N.J., is charged with armed robbery and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime in connection with the SunTrust holdup, Mount Pleasant police Maj. Stan Gragg said.
Published reports from New Jersey state that Ozarowski was busted in the Garden State in May 1984 after a failed bank heist. He told police he had pulled off 30 bank robberies since getting out of prison the previous month, according to an Associated Press report.
He gained his nickname and notoriety for his habit of calling police to boast of his exploits, comparing himself to infamous bank robber Clyde Barrow of Bonnie and Clyde renown, a 2006 article in the Ocean County (N.J.) Observer stated.
Ozarowski later pleaded guilty to a handful of bank robberies and other holdups and he was sentenced to some 30 years in prison, the Observer article stated.
Federal prison records show he was paroled in 2002, though the Observer article notes he went back behind bars for at least four years for unspecified parole violations.
It’s unclear how Ozarowski ended up in the Lowcountry, where he crossed paths with police Wednesday morning.
Police were called to SunTrust at 404 Johnnie Dodds Blvd. at 9:15 a.m. after a man walked into the bank with what appeared to be a gun and demanded money, Gragg said.
The robber fled with an undisclosed amount of money and ducked into the nearby Holiday Inn Express, Gragg said.
Officers located the suspect, later identified as Ozarowski, and placed him under arrest, Gragg said. Ozarowski had a room rented at the hotel, and a search of the room resulted in the recovery of an air-soft pistol, he said. The suspect suggested that he had explosive devices while at the bank, Gragg said. Police searched the suspect’s hotel room, but no explosives were found, he said.
Ozarowski will have a bond hearing today.