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Long IslandCrime

Two charged in Valley Stream bank heist

Two suspected bank robbers were arrested Monday after a dye pack exploded in their getaway car following a heist in Valley Stream, police said.

The bank robbery occurred at the TD Bank on Merrick Road at about 12:30 p.m., Nassau police said.

The suspects walked into the bank, and after a few moments one walked back outside to a car while the other handed a teller "a demand note indicating he had a gun," police said.

The teller handed over money, and the two men then fled in a black Mustang, police said.

They didn't get far.

Police said they arrested the men a "short while" later after a dye pack exploded inside the Mustang and the men were forced to throw a coat containing the pack and the money out the window.

Police said they later determined that the driver was involved in two previous bank robberies in Nassau.

Joseph Bentvena, 25, identified as the driver of the getaway car, was arrested outside his home on Wheeler Avenue in Valley Stream not long after the robbery Monday, police said. Luke D'Angio, 18, of Merrick Road, Merrick, was arrested after he was found hiding inside the home, police said.

Both men were charged with first-degree robbery.

Bentvena also was charged first-degree robbery, first-degree criminal use of a firearm and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon for his role in the April 2 robbery of a Washington Mutual Bank on Broadway in Hewlett, police said. And he was charged with first-degree robbery for his role in the robbery of an HSBC bank on Cedarhurst Avenue in Cedarhurst on April 6, police said.

Both men are scheduled for arraignment Tuesday in First District Court, Hempstead.


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