STAMFORD, Conn. - The so-called dinnertime bandit pulled off his thefts with stealth and sophistication, clad in black clothes as he climbed the columns of wealthy homes to slip in through second-floor windows and make off with expensive jewelry, authorities say.
Yesterday, after nine years on the run in Europe, suspect Alan W. Golder was brought before a judge for arraignment.
Golder, 52, did not enter a plea and was ordered held on a $3 million bond. Prosecutors say he had been living in Belgium and Paris and has had seven aliases.
Authorities have said Golder is also a suspect in 50 burglaries in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, totaling about $5 million in stolen jewelry.
He was extradited from Belgium on Wednesday. Greenwich police charged him with nearly 40 felony counts, including burglary, larceny, robbery, and kidnapping, in the break-ins that occurred in the 1990s.
Authorities estimate nearly $1 million in goods were taken in the Greenwich thefts.
The homes were broken into mostly at sundown or early evening when many residents were home and alarm systems were off. Authorities say most of the break-ins occurred through second-story windows and, once in, the suspect targeted bedrooms.
In arrest affidavits, authorities detail the hallmarks of an accomplished thief who prided himself as the best.
Even without a ladder, Golder could get into an upstairs window by shinnying up support columns or scaling gutters, authorities say. He wore gloves to avoid leaving fingerprints and a black ninja type suit with a black hood with slits for eye holes, according to arrest records released in court yesterday.
But he left some evidence behind, including a distinctive tread pattern from a Reebok Exo-Fit sneaker, authorities say.
During one robbery, investigators said Golder physically restrained a woman when she came into the master bedroom. "You had to come in the bedroom," he told her.
The homeowner was "manipulated in a strong arm fashion" through the house as the robber asked for fine jewelry. After she objected to being put in a closet, he tied her to a bed with neckties belonging to her husband and stole her Jaguar, the arrest warrant says.
Although he wore a mask, the homeowner described the robber as having a ruddy complexion, stark blue eyes and wisps of red/auburn hair.
A search of Golder's apartment turned up Millionaire Magazine, the Robb Report about rich and famous lifestyles, and a Gemstone textbook. In prison, Golder would read books about mansions and jewelry, according to the arrest affidavit.
Police say Golder used a screwdriver to pry off panes of glass and carried a diamond tester.
His brother, John Kulp, who sometimes was his driver, told police that Golder "gets a rush" out of burglarizing homes while the owners are home.
The Greenwich burglaries occurred while Golder was out on parole for the 1978 murder of Long Island, N.Y., real estate developer Lawrence Lever.