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‘Bomb box’ bank robbers strike in Heights again

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Police brass aren’t officially labeling it as a trend — yet — but detectives in the 84th Precinct are investigating two more bank heists that involved a robber who claimed to be carrying a bomb in a box.

The latest thefts, on March 12 and 17, followed a strikingly similar attack at Chase’s Montague Street branch on March 9, police reports show. Witnesses have described at least two different thieves and cops don’t know how, or if, the crimes are linked.

On March 17, St. Patrick’s Day, at least four witnesses saw the thief walk into the Commerce Bank on Montague Street, around 3:40 pm. He approached the 27-year-old teller and handed him a note that said he had a bomb and would use it to explode the bank if he didn’t get a certain amount of cash.

The teller gave him $2,000 and the thief ran off. A dozen officers, including members of the bomb squad, descended on the bank shortly after the robber left.

In the March 12 crime, a different thief staged a similar heist at a bank on Court Street, near Schermerhorn Street. The robber walked in just before 6 pm and passed a note to the 22-year-old teller demanding a specific sum. If the employee didn’t hand over the cash, the robber said he would blow up the bank with the bomb he had in a box at his side.

The March 9 Chase attack, less than a block from the one attacked Saturday, involved a man who covered his face with a black mask before he handed a note to the teller threatening to blow the bank sky-high. Instead, she passed him $2,559 and he ran off.

Lift heist

An armed man robbed two men in the elevator of a parking garage for a Fulton Mall department store on March 15, police said.

The victims, ages 27 and 30, entered the elevator at the Hoyt Street parking deck, off Livingston Street, around 10:30 pm. A third man also entered the lift.

When the doors closed, the stranger pulled out a silver handgun and insisted the pair give him the bank deposit he thought they were carrying. The victims told him they didn’t have any bank drop and, after some back and forth, the thief decided, “Then give me all your wallets.”

The two men, both from Queens, turned over their billfolds, and the thief bolted the elevator. Police searched the streets and a nearby subway station, but didn’t find the man, described as a 6-foot-1, 180-pound black man in his early 30s. He was dressed in a black cap, a black jacket and blue jeans.

Knife, to boot

Police arrested two young women who attacked a department store worker with a blade and a pair of boots on St. Patrick’s Day.

The 44-year-old victim was on duty at the Fulton Street store, near Hoyt Street, when the pair wandered in, around 2 pm. One woman swung a boot at the man, striking him in the head, and the second attacker threatened him with a knife.

When police arrived, they confiscated the folding knife and also found graffiti materials on one suspect. Police Officer Tyeis Mojica cuffed the two woman, ages 19 and 21, on assault charges.

Bunch of chickens

A pair of armed robbers stole $1,000 from a fried chicken franchise on Livingston Street early on March 12, police said.

The thieves rushed the restaurant, near Bond Street, around 1:30 am, and one man lifted his jacket to reveal a black handgun in his waistband. The other man wore a black mask and told the employee on duty to keep his head down behind the counter and empty the cash register.

“You know what to do. Don’t think about nothing,” he told the victim. “There are two more dudes outside.”

The employee didn’t check to make sure. Instead, he turned over the cash, and the two men fled.

Phone attack

A woman was brutally beaten by a fellow female when she tried to call for help on Bridge Street after dark on March 12, police said.

The brute rushed the victim around 10:40 pm, near the corner of Willoughby Street. She hit her with his fist and then, when the victim pulled out her cellphone and dialed 911, the attacker grabbed it away and smacked her with the phone. The 20-year-old victim suffered multiple cuts on her face and around her right eye.

Police are looking for a 5-foot-7, 170-pound white Hispanic woman in her late 20s.

Car swiped

Someone stole a car — plus a cellphone and pair of Prada heels — that was left running on Duffield Street on March 15, police said.

The 45-year-old driver left the keys in the ignition when she pulled over and parked, near Willoughby Street. When she dashed up the steps of a house nearby to ring the bell, a silver car pulled alongside her own Ford Explorer.

Two strangers jumped out of the visiting vehicle and leapt into her white 2002 SUV. Before she realized what had happened, they stepped on the gas and were gone.

Updated 4:27 pm, July 9, 2018
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