White robber wore lifelike black mask


Alleged bank robber Conrad Zdzierak is said to have used a $650 mask called “The Player” to fool security cameras. Check out a video of the mask here.

Investigators believe Zdzierak likely removed the mask between the robberies in order to confuse the cops who believed they were looking a black man.

The authorities caught a break when they spotted a Volvo with its interior splattered with red dye from a dye pack slipped into a bag used to hold the stolen money.

Police found Zdzierak hiding in a motel bathroom.

White robber nabbed wearing African-American 'Hollywood' mask (Via Steve Silberman)


  1. Huh, that’s pretty smart. I wonder how many other robberies that have gone with the criminal getting away have involved prosthetics (is that the right word? I don’t think it’s the right word…) like this that have been convincing enough.

    I mean all you’d need is one disgruntled enough Hollywood guy who does these masks and suddenly you’ve got lots of faces.

  2. All units, all units, be on the lookout for a suspect wearing a prosthetic forehead on his real head. Approach with caution.

  3. Waitaminnit- their masks are Nosferatu, Zombies, monsters, Lucifer, the Clown, the Inbred- and a black guy?

  4. Well, it was only a matter of time. The thing that was hardest for me to buy about the old Mission: Impossible (or even Scooby Doo) was how everyone seemed to fall for a rubber-masked villain. Now, 40 years later, you’d think this would have happened hundreds of times… enough, anyway, for someone to have been caught trying it before now.

  5. What makes that an “African-American” mask, as opposed to an “African” mask? Do Africans really look different from African-Americans?

      1. Wow, that’s a powerful and fascinating poem. Thanks for linking it.

        It must have been a paradigm shift for black Americans to identify with Africa for so long and once there, realize they weren’t really Africans, but Americans.

    1. What makes that an “African-American” mask, as opposed to an “African” mask? Do Africans really look different from African-Americans?

      A fair point, but the group we call “African Americans” is ethnically distinct from Africans. “African American” usually means someone of Bantu (West African) origin mixed with more than a little European origin. The old canard about America being a melting pot is certainly true of our genes. Africa itself also has many ethnic groups that are not typically represented by African Americans, such as the Khoisan, Pygmies, and Berber.

      1. “African American” usually means someone of Bantu (West African) origin mixed with more than a little European origin.

        This is simply not true. See for example the saga of Oprah Winfrey’s DNA testing.

        1. According to the PBS show you cite, Oprah’s ancestry is mostly from West Africa, with 11% non-African ancestry, which was kind of my point.

    2. The science backs this up: As someone from the Middle East I probably am closer genetically to most “Africans” than most African-Americans despite my lighter skin tone. How does the difference between African-Americans and “Africans” (whatever the fuck that happens to mean.) manifest physically? Well, it’s questionable, since people from certain Pacific Islands and Australia can look “African”. So why not, in the case of “African-American” use continent of origin? Well, because White people come from Africa too. The distinction is completely arbitrary no matter how you cut it. So you may as well cut it anywhere, no? Race is a social construct.

    3. If you go to the site, you’ll notice each mask has a personality to match. “The Player” is a stockbroker on Wall Street – apparently.

  6. I was going to by that mask myself but didn’t because I needed a British man of African descent mask and not an African-American mask.

    I feel bad that the criminal tried to ruin The Player’s reputation as an upstanding “Stockbroker on Wall Street and entrepreneur.”

  7. I like their site…expensive masks, but they look really well done.

    Maybe next time he should try the Lucifer mask!

  8. They ought to make Middle Class White Guy for black people to wear while driving through the burbs

  9. I recall reading about a bank robber who dressed in drag but was caught right away before he could change.
    /shouldn’t have dragged it out? was caught in a dragnet?

  10. What does it say about race in America that the “African American” mask is the only one on the website that comes with matching hands? Weird.

    1. What does it say about race in america?

      Not much.

      If you’re black, and want the black mask, you don’t need matching hands. If you’re white, you don’t need matching hands so much for any of the other masks.

      And since blacks are not the majority of the population in the USA, most of his clients will not need matching hands for any of the other masks. So it seems like a simple business decision, not structural racism.

      Also, note that there is a bada$$ white guy non-monster (?) mask, The Sarge.

  11. So the guy is clever enough to use a convincing mask, but dumb enough to open a dyepack-rigged bag in his car?

  12. I like how Zdzierak is a Polish name that means “someone who rips off”. Both “rips off paint” and “rips off people” senses.

  13. I’m not sure that it says that much. Especially since it’s not true – they’re also available for “sarge”, and if you go to the shopping cart, also for “elder, zombie and inbred”.

    Very cool mask though.

  14. According to the product description, the mask’s creator “has upped the anty in the world of realistic silicone masks.”

    That sounds painful.

  15. Indeed, I thought at first: hey, there’s the zombie, and the evil clown. Nosferatu, check, Vampire, etc. They’re all there. Black guy, check. What?

    But then I saw that they have old guy, thug, “Sarge”, and inbred (hillbilly?). Oh and old lady. So all the monsters are accounted for. Except bankers. Maybe Nosferatu would work for that (not in an anti-semitic way).

  16. Perhaps this is a bit old, but why not just wear a Nixon mask?

    Then, as he leaves the bank, proclaim “I am NOT a CROOK!”

    1. greengestalt, because he’d be immediately subject to a DMCA takedown notice for violating the copyright on Point Break.

  17. really…

    i have a line for all ya all… (yeah, i said it that way, makes my point)

    the line is: “i am an F.B.I. agent”

    any takers?

    rubber masks? president already mentioned… the movie is “Point Break”


  18. So, he spends hundreds of dollars on a mask, but doesn’t know about dye packs? Smooth move, John Dillinger.

  19. I can’t imagine the dangerous lack of peripheral vision in robbing a bank with A) a hood, B) a mask C)with sunglasses on it. Brave, or stupid.

  20. Troubling racial issues aside, those masks are creepy, like what the early infiltration-unit Terminators would wear before getting upgraded to Arnold-skin.

  21. I don’t get why he needed to robs stores when he could buy this 600 dollar mask. Unless he used a credit card and had to rob to pay it back.

    I would have went for the old man mask myself.

  22. @octopussoup – he was robbing banks, not stores. large difference in the amount of money one stands to gain.

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