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Alleged ‘Soul Patch Bandit’ goes before Petersburg judge

Posted at 1:04 PM, Nov 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-28 13:04:00-05

PETERSBURG, Va. -- The man the FBI dubbed the "Soul Patch Bandit" was arraigned in Petersburg General District Court Monday. Artur Kharendzuyk, 25, is accused of robbing six banks located in Henrico, Hanover, Colonial Heights, and Petersburg.

Kharendzuyk is also wanted for the murder of his one-year-old son in Newport News.

Police arrested Kharendzuyk outside a Wells Fargo bank November 22.

His arraignment Monday focused on a felony charge for using a firearm during that robbery.

Petersburg Police said they did not charge Kharendzuyk for the robbery itself, because the FBI might take over all six robbery charges.

A supervisor from the FBI's Richmond office confirmed a task force of federal, state, and local agents has been working the Kharendzuyk case. That task force has gathered evidence from the counties and cities where the robberies took place.

A prosecutor from the U.S. Attorney's Office would look at each charge and decide whether or not to make it one big case.

Kharendzuyk is also wanted for the October murder of his 1-year-old son in Newport News.

Police there have an arrest warrant for him charging him with second-degree murder.  It remains unclear how that charge would play into his current legal situation.

The Petersburg judge granted Kharendzuyk a court-appointed lawyer and set a preliminary hearing date for February 10, 2017.

The prosecution said it needed to see what the FBI investigation found and how the feds wanted to proceed.

CBS 6 legal analyst Todd Stone said it was common for the FBI to get involved in serial offender cases in order to make the process more efficient.

Kharendzuyk remains jailed at Riverside Regional Jail without bond.