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The FBI is searching for a woman who it says is targeting banks across metro Atlanta.


Nilsa Marie Urena, 25, who is suspected of being the “Freedom Fighter Bandit,” is accused of hitting nine banks across Paulding, Gwinnett, Douglas and DeKalb counties since October.

Authorities said she tells bank tellers that she has a bomb and is robbing the bank “for a cause.”

“We don’t know where she’s from. We don’t know what her ties are to the Atlanta area,” FBI spokesperson Kevin Rowson said.

The latest robbery took place Thursday at the Hamilton Bank on Hardee Street in Dallas. Officials said Urena was accompanied by an unidentified male partner and another man who drive the getaway car, a champagne-colored Cadillac.

The FBI said Urena usually has a male partner when she robs the banks.

“We believe she is recruiting these young men on the Internet somehow,” Rowson said.

Late last year, Channel 2’s Mark Winne spoke exclusively with one of the teens Urena is accused of recruiting to help pull off her heist. The 17 year old was arrested and charged as an adult in a bank robbery in Douglasville.

“I saw her walking on Candler Road. I wanted to talk to her. I took her to my house. We had sex. She told me she had a bank move. I asked her what it was. She told me how she did it,” he said. “I said, ‘No, I don’t want to be part of it. It sounds too risky.”

The suspect said he was the teller note-passer.

“She told me to give the people the note, but I was scared,” he said.

Rowson said the FBI wants to find Urena before she can strike again.

“She is the person we need to get off the streets because when we finally arrest her we believe that these robberies will stop,” he said.

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