08/22/2013 03:16 EDT | Updated 10/22/2013 05:12 EDT

Suspect arrested in 'Nephew Bandit' scams on seniors

Vancouver police have arrested a man suspected of being the 'Nephew Bandit,' who allegedly travelled across Canada stealing thousands of dollars from seniors by pretending to be a relative.

Richard Earl Rupert, 57, was taken into custody at a Vancouver hospital Wednesday evening after a long and exhaustive cross-country search by multiple police forces.

Rupert is alleged to have befriended seniors in retirement homes after claiming to be a distant relative, usually a nephew. Police say he then convinced his victims — some in their 90s — to give him money for travel, car repairs or rent.

For years, he was wanted in connection with more than 20 incidents across the country, including in Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary, Winnipeg and Vancouver. Eighteen arrest warrants were issued by police forces in three Canadian provinces.

In 2010, Rupert was featured on a television episode of America's Most Wanted but remained elusive until June, when he checked into a Vancouver hospital under assumed name.

Hospital staff recognized Rupert from a wanted poster and called police.