2006-04-07 / Front Page

Bank Robber Threatens To Start Shooting

By Brian Magoolaghan


Police respond after a bank robber struck at the Bank of America Branch in Arverne. Inset: Police released this photo of the suspect, distilled from surveillance cameras, moments before The Wave went to press on Thursday.
Police respond after a bank robber struck at the Bank of America Branch in Arverne. Inset: Police released this photo of the suspect, distilled from surveillance cameras, moments before The Wave went to press on Thursday.

A man made off with thousands in cash from a local bank last week after he passed a note saying he had a gun - and would use it - if the teller didn't start handing over the cash, police said.

The brazen bank robber struck at the Bank of America branch on the corner of Beach 66 Street and Beach Channel Drive just after 1:30 p.m. last Friday.

"I got a gun, give me all the money," the robber's note said. "No one will get hurt, don't push the button or I will start shooting," he threatened. The female teller handed over almost $3,400 in cash from her drawer and the man, who never displayed a firearm, fled on foot, cops said.

Police were called, and the bank's manager, James Bouey, met cops outside the bank when they arrived.

The female teller who came face-to-face with the robber said the man was Hispanic, about 5-feet, 5-inches tall, 160 pounds, wearing a blue jacket and a tan baseball cap with blue lettering.

Officers put the description of their suspect out over their radio system, and police helicopters scanned from above, but the man was not found. Detectives from the 100 Precinct and members of the NYPD's Major Case Squad were called in to investigate. An evidence collection team dusted surfaces inside the bank, including the door and the teller window area.

Bank robberies like this one, called note-jobs by police because they involve a letter that demands cash and usually a threat of violence, are not uncommon in the Rockaways. Last September, a Rockaway Beach man was arrested after he allegedly passed notes twice at the Queens County Savings Bank on Beach 104 Street and at Citibank in the Waldbaum's shopping center.

Another man was arrested last April after he allegedly committed several note-job robberies in Far Rockaway at the Chase Bank, North Fork Bank and a different Bank of America branch. He allegedly struck the North Fork Bank twice.

Police asked anyone with information on last week's robbery to call the 100 Precinct Detective Squad at (718) 318-4221.

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