Purnice Paris Frazier, woman suspected in 2 armed bank robberies in Aurora, surrenders, police say

AURORA, Colo. - Aurora Police said Tuesday that a woman sought in connection with a pair of armed bank robberies surrender after she saw surveillance images of herself robbing a bank on the local news.

Purnice Paris Frazier, 27, was arrested on suspicion of aggravated robbery and is currently being held at the Arapahoe County Detention Center on $50,000 bond.

Frazier told officers she robbed the Colorado State Bank and Trust at 15490 E. Hampden Ave. on April 4, and the Academy Bank at 9600 E. Hampden Ave on April 24, according to the Aurora Police Department.

Investigators from the FBI's Rocky Mountain Safe Streets Task Force said they were able to recover a large amount of cash from Frazier, believed to have been taken in the robberies.

Frazier will face formal charges by the 18th Judicial District Attorney's office on Wednesday, police said.

In both robberies, Frazier is accused of entering the banks wearing a black jacket with the hood up over her head and a pink bandana covering her face. She displayed a revolver to the teller, demanded money and fled with the cash, the FBI said.

"It's not unusual for a woman to be involved with something like fraud or forgery. But to pick up a gun and go into a bank, very rare," Dr. Allison Cotton, a criminologist at Metropolitan State University of Denver, told 7NEWS reporter Marc Stewart.

"I think desperation levels are climbing," Cotton said, "and I think that there are more and more women who are exasperated by their circumstances -- often times at the end of their rope."

There have been 33 bank robberies in Colorado this year as of April 14 -- down 25 percent from the same time period last year, according to the FBI.

In 2013, Colorado ranked fourth in the nation for bank robberies per capita. That's an improvement over 2011, when Colorado ranked first in the national for bank robberies and 2012, when it ranked second.

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