Long Island man linked to 7 bank robberies arrested in Nesconset

Brian Blackford, 40, of Kings Park, is led out of the First Precinct in West Babylon Tuesday morning, June 10, 2014, to face arraignment on charges in connection with as many as seven bank robberies over a two-week period, Suffolk police said.

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A Kings Park man has been arrested and charged with robbing as many as seven banks over a two-week period, Suffolk police said Monday night.

Brian Blackford, 40, was linked to robberies in which a man handed notes to a teller and then ran away after the teller complied, Suffolk police said.

Police said Blackford was captured Monday when he used that tactic at the Capital One branch at 250 Smithtown Blvd. in Nesconset, running from the bank to a waiting car after the teller complied with his note's request.

The suspect in those heists had a similar description: about 5-foot-10 with a shaved head, thin beard and medium build.

"A description of the suspect and vehicle was broadcast to patrol units," according to a news release from Suffolk police. "The vehicle was observed by First Precinct patrol officers who initiated a stop."

Arrested were suspected driver Fitzalla Coward, 51, of Brentwood, and Blackford. Police said they were taken into custody about 2:50 p.m. without incident.

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Blackford is also suspected in heists at a Capital One in Deer Park on May 24, a Bank of America in Commack on May 27, a Bethpage Federal Credit Union in Farmingdale on May 29, a Capital One in Farmingdale on June 2, a TD Bank in Sayville on June 3 and a Citibank in North Lindenhurst on Thursday.

Blackford is to be arraigned Tuesday in First District Court in Central Islip, police said.

Police said anyone with information about the robberies can call Crime Stoppers at 800-220-8477. All calls will remain confidential.

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