Suffolk police nabbed a bank robber from East Islip on Wednesday with help from the taxi company that had unwittingly provided his getaway car.
Police said Clenzo Thompson, 53, took a David Brothers Taxi cab to the Bank of America at 185 Wheeler Road in Central Islip on Wednesday afternoon about 2:40 p.m. and gave the teller a note demanding cash. But the teller didn't comply, and Thompson left and got back into the waiting cab.
Thompson then asked the driver to take him to a TD Bank at 6 Main St. in East Islip next, and at about 3 p.m., he went in and again handed the teller a note demanding cash, police said. This time the teller acquiesced, and Thompson fled the bank with the money. Again, he got into the waiting cab and fled.
Meanwhile, Third Precinct officers who responded to the Central Islip robbery attempt were interviewing witnesses, and had identified the cab company as Bay Shore-based David Brothers Taxi. Police said the officers called a dispatcher from the taxi company, who found the cab using GPS information. The company gave the officers the taxi's location, and they found the cab and arrested Thompson minutes later.
Police said the cabdriver was unaware that his fare had robbed one bank and tried to rob another -- Thompson had simply told the driver he was having a problem with his accounts at the two banks.
Thompson, who police said is currently on parole for robbing a cabdriver in Medford in 2008, also has previous bank robbery convictions in New York City and in Suffolk County.
Thompson, of 66 Moffitt Blvd., was charged with third-degree attempted robbery and third-degree robbery. He is being held overnight at the Third Precinct and is scheduled to be arraigned at First District Court in Central Islip on Thursday.