Bank employees thought there was something fishy about the customer even before he entered the TD Bank in Wantagh Saturday afternoon.
Several tellers saw Eric Kruse, 27, of Roslyn Heights, wearing sunglasses and a knit cap, park his car in another lot and walk through bushes and the drive-though area to reach the front door at the branch at 3222 Sunrise Hwy., Nassau County police said.
And while standing in line, Kruse was more nervous than normal, so bank employees called police, according to a police news release.
"When the defendant heard police sirens, he stepped out of line, threw his demand note in the garbage and attempted to flee out of the exit doors," police said.
Police arrested Kruse, of 168 Jefferson Ave., at about 1:35 p.m. as he tried to drive away, police said. He was charged with first-degree robbery. The note was recovered at the scene, police said.
Seventh Squad detectives said Kruse's intention was to rob the bank.
He was arraigned Sunday at First District Court in Hempstead and was being held on $40,000 bond, or $20,000 bail. Kruse, who also was charged with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, is due back in court on Wednesday.