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Long IslandCrime

Bank robber arrested after ride to LIRR station, police say

During a March 16, 2017 press conference, Suffolk County Police Commissioner Timothy Sini discussed what led to the arrest of a suspect in the March 15, 2017 robbery at the Bank of America on Larkfield Road. (Credit: Newsday / Chuck Fadely)

An East Northport man who was sent to prison for trying to rob a bank in the hamlet in 2014 and using a taxi as a getaway car was arrested Wednesday after Suffolk police said he held up another bank, then hitched a ride to a train station.

Police said they arrested Nicholas Bono, 29, of Ardendale Road, after he held up the Bank of America on Larkfield Road in East Northport just before 2:45 p.m. Wednesday.

Bono fled the Bank of America with the cash in a white PT Cruiser, which he crashed shortly after leaving the bank, police said. He fled from the accident scene on foot.

The suspect offered to pay a contractor doing a job in the area $500 to give him a ride to the nearby Northport Long Island Rail Road station, police said. Bono, who told the contractor a made-up story about an emergency, ultimately paid the man $100 from the robbery proceeds, according to police.

“The contractor is not the bad guy in this story but that was perhaps not the smartest move,” Suffolk police commissioner Timothy Sini said of the contractor Thursday.

After looking at the LIRR schedule, Second Precinct officers learned that there was a train going west and asked that it be held at Huntington, authorities said.

They searched the train, but it did not appear the robber had boarded, police said. An LIRR spokesman said a westbound train was held for 10 minutes.

Police said they later learned that Bono had hopped in a taxi at the Northport train station. He got out of the cab in Melville and persuaded another motorist to give him a lift to a motel in Massapequa, where he checked into a room.

Det. Lt. Darrel Simmons said an officer lured Bono out of his room by posing as the motel desk clerk.

Bono, who was charged with third-degree robbery, was scheduled to be arraigned Friday at First District Court in Central Islip.

Court records show Bono had been sentenced to 1 1⁄2 to 3 years after pleading guilty to the Nov. 13, 2014, attempted robbery of a Roslyn Bank on Larkfield Road.

In that case, authorities said Bono walked into the bank at about 10:30 a.m. and passed a note to a teller demanding cash. The teller complied and Bono fled in a taxi that was waiting outside. He was arrested after Second Precinct officers tracked down the cab.

With Ellen Yan

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