JACKSON COUNTY, Miss. (CBSDFW.COM) - Just as the FBI and North Texas police agencies intensified their search for the bank robber being called the ‘Handsome Bandit,’ a routine traffic stop led to his arrest. Authorities in North Texas had identified the suspect as 44-year-old Steven Milam.
CBS 11 News has learned deputies in Jackson County, Mississippi attempted to perform a traffic stop on a vehicle traveling on Interstate-10. The vehicle refused to stop.
At some point authorities ran the license plate and discovered the vehicle was linked to Milam. Deputies tried three times to stop the vehicle using ‘stop sticks’ but were unsuccessful.
Mike Byrd, the sheriff of Jackson County, joined the chase as Milam and deputies entered Alabama. The vehicle was finally stopped after Sheriff Byrd shot out the right rear tire. “That was a last resort and I just didn’t want him going any further and possibly harming someone else.”
Surrounded by law enforcement, Milam refused to get out of the car. “We had to physically remove him from the vehicle,” said Sheriff Byrd.
Before he could be taken into custody, police believe he swallowed a large amount of medication. “We think he maybe, might have, ingested some pills, uh, because he threw up in the back of the patrol car,” said Sheriff Byrd.
Milam was taken to an area hospital, but is in police custody.
According to police in Richardson, Milam, a.k.a. the ‘Handsome Bandit’, is the person who robbed a Compass Bank on December 31. During that incident, the suspect fired at chasing officers, striking one squad car.
Milam was named as the ‘Handsome Bandit’ after Richardson police discovered clothing, a mask and weapon that the suspect left behind.
In all, Milan is accused of robbing six banks across Richardson, Dallas, Plano and Irving. Milam now faces charges of bank robbery and attempted capital murder.
Officials with the FBI were in Tyler on Monday to search a business that is believed to be connected to Milam. They also visited the suspect’s home. Neighbors who work near the suspect’s casket shop said that they never thought the man was dangerous.
“I’m freaking out a little bit, because if what people are saying is true has happened, then I kind of fear a little bit for my family, knowing that’s taking place and it could be across the street,” said neighbor Larry Kalmowitz.
“He has kids. He has a wife. They’re all great people,” said Jon-Paul Stanley, neighboring business owner. “I had no idea.”
As of late Tuesday morning Milam remained hospitalized. When he is released he will be placed in the Jackson County Jail where he will await extradition back to Texas.