Cops seeking bike riding robber who hit banks near Stuy Town and in Flatiron

By Sabina Mollot

Police are looking for a very determined man who robbed one bank near Stuy Town, the Ponce de Leon branch on First Avenue, and attempted to rob two other banks, all in the same day. In each incident, the man arrived on his bike and then strolled into the bank where he handed a note to a teller demanding cash.

Cops say the pattern is as follows.

On Thursday, September 10 at approximately 9:37 a.m., the man walked into a Chase Bank, located at 225 Fifth Avenue and 27th Street, but fled empty handed.

Three minutes later, he tried his luck at the Chase Bank at 386 Park Avenue South and 27th Street, but again left without any money.

Then at 10:03 a.m., he walked into the Ponce De Leon Bank, located at 319 First Avenue between 18th and 19th Streets, and got away with $1,000 in cash.

The suspect is described as light-skinned, approximately 5’7″ tall with thin build, in his mid 30s, and has a pointy nose. He also has a tattoo on his left ankle and on his right calf. A video showing some of the bank footage shows the suspect wearing a baseball cap, a bright red jacket and short pants.

Anyone with information in regards to these incidents is asked to call Crime stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website at www.nypdcrimestoppers.com or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

The news of this pattern comes on the heels of police announcing that they are looking for two additional bank robbers hitting the 13th Precinct.

On the usually high amount of bank robberies in the area, a spokesperson for the NYPD told Town & Village, “We are actively conducting investigations in regards to the bank robberies and the bank robbery patterns.” He said he couldn’t answer a question asking if this meant there were more police officers patrolling the area.

UPDATE:

Police also said the man continued his robbery attempts (key word being attempts) the following day at three more banks further north.

On Friday, September 11 at 9:08 a.m., he allegedly walked into the Apple Bank at 371 Seventh Avenue at West 33rd Street, but left empty-handed.

Then at 9:18 a.m., he headed to Valley National Bank at the Textile Building, 295 Fifth Avenue and 30th Street, but left without any loot.

By 10:03 a.m., he was at the Capital One Bank located at 991 Third Avenue and 59th street, but also left that branch without anything to show for his efforts.

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Preservationists oppose landmark deadline bill

By Sabina Mollot

A bill pending in the City Council that would impose strict deadlines on applications for property landmark status has drawn concern from preservation groups who are blasting it as having a “do or die” policy. This is because any projects that aren’t decided upon by deadline would be barred from reconsideration for five years.

The bill, known as Intro 775, had a hearing in the Council on Wednesday with many speakers scheduled, but there wasn’t a vote on it. If passed, the Landmarks Preservation Commission would have to hold a public hearing on any potentially landmarked property or scenic landmark within 180 days of it going on the calendar and then make a decision on its status within 180 days of the hearing.

Historic districts up for designation would have to be discussed at a hearing within a year after being put on the calendar, with the LPC given a year after that to come to a decision.

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