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Bank Robbery Suspect Fools Cops with Realistic Mask

Bank Robbery Suspect Fools Cops with Realistic Mask


Airdate: 04/27/2010

This bank robber struck four times in just three hours and cops thought they had a pretty good idea who they were looking for: a bald black man, possibly wearing a hoodie and sunglasses.

Police tracked down a suspect, but you won't recognize the man they busted from those photographs.

Cops say Caucasian Conrad Zdzierak is actually the robber in those surveillance photos.

So how did the white man allegedly transform himself into an African American man? He used an incredibly realistic Hollywood mask. It covers his whole head, and even the eyes and lips are unbelievably lifelike.

When he removed the mask, no one would ever dream he was the robber photographed pulling off the bank heists.

"The mask will fit skin-tight, so that way when you move it doesn't buckle funny," explains SPFX Masks owner Rusty Slusser.

Authorities say the suspect wore a mask from SPFX Masks during the heists.

SPFX Masks has done work for the TV show Law & Order and several movies.

Slusser showed INSIDE EDITION how easily he could transform himself into a totally different person, just by putting on the $700 mask.

Slusser says he was stunned when he was contacted by detectives about the bank robber. "I was very shocked and very embarrassed. I just could not believe somebody would do something like that with the mask," Slusser tells INSIDE EDITION.

So how did police figure out this bank robber was not who he appeared to be?

They traced his getaway car to a hotel near Cincinnati, Ohio. Police say they found the mask and other evidence in Conrad Zdzierak's room.

"When finally we realized who he was, he clearly did not fit the description that we originally were given, so it was a very shocking crime," said prosecutor's office spokeswoman Julie Wilson.

The suspect has been charged with aggravated robbery and faces 120 years if convicted.


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