2005-04-08 / Front Page

Bank Robber: ‘I’ll Kill Patrons, Staff’

Police car sits on the sidewalk in front of North Fork Bank last Saturday after a bank robber struck the location.Police car sits on the sidewalk in front of North Fork Bank last Saturday after a bank robber struck the location.

A brazen bank robber made off with thousands of dollars last Saturday after he passed a chilling note to a female employee at a Far Rockaway bank, police said.

The thief entered the North Fork Bank at 22-10 Mott Avenue at about 1:30 p.m. wearing a dark-colored scarf to conceal his identity, police said.

The man went the teller windows and passed a handwritten message to a 20-year-old female bank employee. The threatening note demanded used bills in different denominations and said the thief would start killing the bank’s customers and employees if the teller resisted, or if he spotted police.

The panicked teller gave the man about $3,000 in cash, according to police. A colleague, who was in a different area of the bank at the time of the robbery, said the teller was scared yet professional.

“She was frightened, but she handled it pretty well,” Cynthia Richardson, told The Wave this week.

The branch is not equipped with button-activated “bandit barriers,” which deploy in the blink of an eye and separate tellers from would-be robbers. It is, however, outfitted with Plexiglas barriers.

The robber, who was apparently unarmed, fled the bank without harming anyone. A witness said the man headed across the busy Far Rockaway Shopping Center parking lot and disappeared.

Police described the robber as a black male, in his early 30s, wearing jeans, a black knit cap and a dark three-quarter length coat. His description somewhat resembles the description of a suspect being sought for last month’s robbery of the Chase bank, also on Mott Avenue, although police did not say whether they think the two crimes are connected. No one was hurt in that incident, and the thief left only with a dye-filled dummy pack sandwiched between two $100 bills.

Police flooded the area following the robbery searching the streets and area mass-transit depots, but a suspect was not found. Detectives ask anyone with information to call (718) 868-3400.

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