On Tuesday morning, officers from the 24th precinct nabbed a man who they say committed multiple bank robberies in the neighborhood and around the city. Joseph DiBenedetto of Staten Island was arrested on Tuesday after an attempted robbery at the Banco Popular on 96th Street and Columbus Avenue, according to the Post.
Police had been looking for a man who walked into banks wearing different hats — from a cowboy hat to a winter cap to a baseball hat — and passed notes to tellers demanding money; on Tuesday, DiBenedetto allegedly was caught in the act. No word yet on whether he was wearing a hat during the encounter.
A worker at the bank set off an alarm, spooking the 34-year-old bandit, who bolted without any cash and hopped on a bus, sources said.
Officers Lisa Mendoza and Sarah Frankel from the 24th Precinct chased DiBenedetto down on a crosstown M96 bus heading east and arrested him, police sources said.
Earlier in the day, before he tried to hit up Popular, DiBenedetto had walked into a HSBC Bank on West 95th Street and Amsterdam Avenue wearing a black and white cap.
But a teller recognized him because he had robbed the same bank in June, so he fled, cops said.
The 24th precinct tweeted out congratulations.
— NYPD 24th Precinct (@NYPD24Pct) August 30, 2016
Helen Miller, who sent in the photo above, said she came upon the scene of the arrest during her morning walk.
“As I was finishing my morning walk in the park, I ran into the scene of LOTS cop cars surrounding the M96 bus heading east at 96th & CPW. After watching them cheer and high-five each other, I asked one of the cops what was going on. He told me that the man they had just put in the back of the cop car had robbed multiple banks on the upper West side, and had just attempted to rob Banco Popular on West 96th street. Someone followed him onto the bus and tipped off the police. They seemed to be able to take him into custody without much of a fuss.”
Here’s the close-up of two officers high-fiving: