A Coram man has been charged with robbing two banks and trying to rob four more in Suffolk in a seven-month span, Suffolk police said.
Det. Sgt. Edward Compagnone of the pattern crimes unit said James Johnson, 44, was responsible for six of the 16 robberies and attempted robberies in Suffolk so far in 2014. Before he was arrested Wednesday afternoon in Medford, he had tried to rob a Capitol One bank in Brentwood earlier in the day, police said.
Sixth Precinct Officers Greg Marino and Matthew Lundin were on patrol when they saw a 1997 Plymouth being driven recklessly on Mill Road and ran a check on the car, police said, revealing that it was stolen. After arresting Johnson, who was driving the car, the officers realized he fit the description of a suspect wanted for several attempted robberies. Johnson was also found to be have a gravity knife and crack, police said.
According to police, the pattern crimes unit probe also said Johnson was responsible for the following cases:
Robbing a Capitol One Bank in Center Moriches on Aug. 9, 2013
Robbing a Chase Bank in Bohemia on Jan. 25
Attempting to rob a Bank of America in Medford on Feb. 5
Attempting to rob a Chase bank in Medford on Feb. 5
Attempting to rob a Chase bank in Farmingville on Feb. 11
Attempting to rob a Capitol One bank in Brentwood on Wednesday
Police said in the first two robberies, in which he got away with cash, Johnson handed a note demanding money to the bank teller and fled once the employee complied. In the last four attempts, all of which were unsuccessful, Johnson allegedly handed the teller a demand note, but fled when the employee didn't immediately comply.
Johnson was charged with second-degree unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, second-degree aggravated unlicensed operation, reckless driving, seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, two counts of third-degree robbery, and four counts of third-degree attempted robbery.
Johnson, of 18 Fife Dr., is scheduled to be arraigned at First District Court in Central Islip on Thursday.
Anyone with information about these cases is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-220-TIPS. All calls will remain confidential.