A “brazen” and “dangerous” alleged bank robber — who tells victims he is armed and willing to shoot if the teller doesn’t turn over cash — has robbed eight banks in Nassau County since November, police said Thursday.
No one has been injured in any of the robberies, which included holdups at seven Chase Banks in Elmont and Hempstead and a Bank of America in Westbury. The thief has worn hats — and in at least one instance sunglasses — but hasn’t covered his face with a mask, police said.
“It’s difficult to say what his motives are at this point,” said Nassau Police Det. Lt. George Darienzo, commanding officer of the Robbery Squad, during a news briefing at police headquarters in Mineola. “I would agree that he’s brazen to walk in, as we like to say, ‘face up,’ so we’ll look to get those answers real soon.”
The latest two heists occurred Tuesday, when the suspect — described as a man in his late 20s to early 30s, standing about 6-foot to 6-2 and about 175 to 190 pounds — entered a Bank of America about 3:09 p.m. on Post Avenue in Westbury.
As in all the robberies, the thief enters the bank alone, sometimes waiting in line, and produces a demand note “stating that he was armed and [would] shoot people if he didn’t get the money,” according to a police department “wanted” poster which includes surveillance images of the suspect.
Almost two hours later, at 4:45 p.m., the suspect robbed the Chase Bank on Linden Boulevard in Elmont, police said.
“There are threats in the note . . . we consider him dangerous,” Darienzo said. “However, it’s unknown if he’s actually carrying a weapon.”
He takes off on foot, police said, and they’re unsure if he has an accomplice waiting in a getaway car.
The spree began with the Nov. 7 holdup of a Chase Bank on Linden Blvd. in Elmont. He took a seven-month break before he struck again on June 5 — holding up that same Elmont Chase Bank. He then struck the Chase Bank on Fulton Avenue in Hempstead twice — on July 3 and Aug. 22 — before hitting a different Chase on Franklin Avenue in Hempstead on Sept. 7, police said.
The suspect then went back to the Fulton Avenue Chase in Hempstead on Oct. 7, police said.
Police say they don’t know why there was a long break between the first and second heists. They said it doesn’t appear that the suspect is connected to any other unsolved bank robberies in Suffolk or nearby Nassau or New York City.
But police are hoping the public will help crack the case.
“We’re investigating these cases vigorously at this time,” said Darienzo. “We’re out there on back streets, in neighborhoods, looking for any evidence — video, witnesses, anybody that can help us identify this individual.”