A self-described magician and escapist who once set a record for eating a household light bulb in fewer than 34 seconds was arrested and charged with committing a string of Brooklyn bank robberies, the police said on Thursday.
The police said that the man, Robert J. Williams, 22, had robbed six banks, including three last Friday.
He was arrested on Wednesday after returning to a bank that the police believe he robbed last week, the police said.
Mr. Williams was in the process of writing a demand note on the back of a deposit slip at Apple Bank in the Midwood section, the police said, when a teller recognized him and their eyes locked.
Mr. Williams disappeared out the door without any money, the police said, but two bank employees followed him and saw him slip into a doorway, reappearing after a quick change of clothes.
The employees provided the police with a description of his new clothing, and a lieutenant and a police officer canvassed the area and spotted Mr. Williams, who was sending text messages while walking on East 10th Street at Avenue P.
The officers stopped and questioned Mr. Williams, and the police said the bank teller identified him as a suspect.
The police said Mr. Williams, who lives on the Upper West Side, was carrying a note for his next planned bank robbery and a bag containing his original clothing.
The police said that beyond the six robberies for which Mr. Williams was charged, they suspect he robbed five other banks, including two in Manhattan within the last two months.
Mr. Williams last year set a record for chewing and swallowing a light bulb in 33.86 seconds, washing down the shards of glass with water.