A Holbrook man who police said went on a three-month bank robbery spree in Suffolk County, sometimes wearing the same distinctive hat, pleaded not guilty to nine counts of robbery Saturday in First District Court in Central Islip.
Bail for Troy Brinkhuis, 46, was set at $25,000 for each count.
Kate Evers, his public defender, said her client lived with his girlfriend and hadn't been positively identified in relation to the robberies.StoryCops: Man linked to 9 bank robberies nabbedDataLI crime stats
At his arraignment, Brinkhuis said he had served in the Army from 1986 to 1989.
Prosecutors said Brinkhuis has multiple prior felony and misdemeanor convictions.
A teller at the Capital One Bank in North Babylon told investigators that Brinkhuis demanded money from her during a robbery on Thursday, according to court documents.
"I'm sorry I have to do this to you. This will be the last time I'm doing this. I'm sorry. I'm sorry," Brinkhuis said to the teller, according to the documents.
Police said Brinkhuis was identified by investigators with the help of video surveillance cameras. Police in the Pattern Crime Unit had linked at least four of the holdups using surveillance photos in which the robber wears a distinctive hat with what appears to be a black symbol or lettering in the center of an emblem-like artwork.
Brinkhuis was arrested without incident at 10:40 a.m. Friday after police stopped his vehicle heading west on Sunrise Highway in West Babylon, police said.
Brinkhuis robbed Chase, Capital One and Citibank branches, many along the South Shore of western Suffolk County, each time handing a teller a threatening note demanding cash, according to police.
Police said the first two robberies, on April 8 and May 22, targeted the same Chase at 991 Main St. in Holbrook.
The other robberies, police said, were: June 6, the Citibank at 835 Montauk Hwy., Bayport; June 10, the Capital One at 450 Union Blvd., West Islip; June 11, the Chase at 2430 N. Ocean Ave., Farmingville; June 24, the Chase at 2650 Sunrise Hwy., East Islip; June 25, the Capital One at 131 Portion Rd., Ronkonkoma; Monday, the Chase bank at 472 Medford Ave., Patchogue; and, finally, Thursday, the Capital One at 1383 Deer Park Ave., North Babylon.
Brinkhuis is due back in court Thursday.