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Australia’s Most Wanted Man Caught

May 3, 1998

DARWIN, Australia (AP) _ Australia’s most wanted fugitive, bank robber and prison escapee Brendon James Abbott, has been arrested after nearly six months on the run, police said Sunday.

Abbott, 36, was known as the ``Postcard Bandit″ because of reports he sent postcards to police after his bank heists.

He was arrested outside a supermarket in central Darwin on Saturday evening by armed police who had staked out the store, a spokeswoman said.

Police believe Abbott, a two-time prison escapee, has netted more than U.S. $2.6 million (Australian dollars 4 million) from 38 bank robberies.

An accomplice, Brendan Luke Berichon, wanted for the shooting of two police officers in April, is still at large.

Abbott was first jailed for bank robbery in 1987, but escaped within two years.

He used the prison workshop to make blue overalls similar to those worn by guards, cut through bars and leapt three metres from a roof to freedom. Police said that within a month, he started committing armed robberies again.

Abbot was again caught in 1995, surrendering without resistance. He was convicted of three bank robberies and sentenced to 12 years in jail.

On Nov. 5 last year, he broke out of the Sir David Longland Correctional Center, the highest security prison in Queensland state, with four other prisoners.

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