In her first heist, the woman sauntered into a Wells Fargo branch bank in Brooklyn Center and slid a note to the teller, police said.
Scribbled on an envelope, the note warned: "I am armed. This is a robbery. Give me the cash. Don't press anything."
Police say that woman was Melanie Sue Carey, 39, of Brooklyn Park, and that she fled that day with about $865 in cash.
Investigators believe that Carey was responsible for at least two bank robberies in the Twin Cities and that she had attempted a third shortly before she was arrested.
She has been charged with two counts of second-degree robbery and one count of attempted second-degree robbery, all felonies.
On May 5, police were tracking Carey's vehicle and cellphone when, authorities say, she attempted her third caper at a TCF Bank in Robbinsdale. She left without getting any money, worried that the teller had activated a silent alarm, according to a criminal complaint filed in Hennepin County District Court. She was caught a short time later.
According to the charges against Carey:
The first robbery occurred April 19 at the Wells Fargo in Brooklyn Center. Dressed in an oversized sweater, fishing hat and sunglasses, Carey claimed she was armed, but never flashed a weapon. She made off with a bounty of small bills totaling less than $1,000.
A week later, wearing another large sweater and glasses, she struck another Wells Fargo, this time in Richfield, handing the teller a similar handwritten note. She made off with nearly $5,000.
A tipster recognized Carey from surveillance photos and informed authorities, the complaint says.
On May 5, police tracking her vehicle noted that it stopped near banks in St. Cloud, Coon Rapids, Brooklyn Park, Crystal and Robbinsdale.
She was arrested just after leaving the TCF Bank in Robbinsdale empty-handed. She later said things just hadn't felt right there, according to the complaint. Police found clothes in her vehicle that matched those of the suspect in the Brooklyn Center and Richfield robberies, the complaint says.
Carey, who is free on $50,000 bond, is due in court on June 6. Attempts to reach her for comment were unsuccessful.