SOUTH BERWICK (AP) – An alleged bank robber who was dubbed the “soccer mom bandit” by New York media grew up in Maine.

Police have charged Pamela Kaichen, 43, with robbing six banks in affluent New York and Connecticut suburbs over two days last week.

Kaichen grew up in South Berwick, where her mother and sister still live. She most recently lived in the suburbs north of New York City.

Lendon Gray, a horse riding instructor in Bedford, N.Y., who used to live in Old Town, described Kaichen as polite and hardworking. Gray said she saw Kaichen about 10 days before the robberies and that everything seemed fine with her.

“She was very relaxed,” Gray said.

Court documents accuse Kaichen of telling one bank teller something like, “I lost a loved one on Sept. 11. Please put everything from your top drawer in this bag. I have a gun in my right hand.”

Gray said Kaichen recently told her she had been volunteering daily at Ground Zero, the site of the 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center towers. But, Gray added, it was hard for anybody to get close to Kaichen and she didn’t have any close friends.

“She never let anybody in,” Gray said.

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