robbery arrest
Officers celebrate after capturing a man they say robbed multiple UWS banks. See below for a close-up of 2 officers literally high-fiving.

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.

bank robbery suspect3Police 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.

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:

robbery arrest closeup

NEWS | 17 comments | permalink
    1. B.B. says:

      Only a resident of Staten Island would hop on a Manhattan cross-town bus looking for a fast get away; and the M96 at that!

    2. AC says:

      Hats off to the 2-4!

    3. dannyboy says:

      ” No word yet on whether he was wearing a hat during the encounter.”

      Probably not. Defeats the whole purpose of disguise.

    4. Rodger Lodger says:

      Not enough particulars here. Demanding money without force or threat of force is not robbery or any other crime. Or is it because he looked like one of “them”?

      • Steven says:

        1. That’s why there is such a thing as a charge of “attempted robbery,” separate from “robbery.” 2. Regardless of what happened on this particular visit to the bank, he was also arrested because he was recognized as a suspect in several previous actual robberies. 3. What “them” are you referring to? He appears to be a white man.

    5. Woody says:

      Nothing to be proud of here. They’re high-fiving themselves for ‘solving’ a crime? The bank teller set off an alarm and a bus rider gave the police the location of the suspect on the bus. They essentially were shooting fish in a barrel. How hard is it to catch a guy on the M96?

      Perhaps they would have noticed this suspect in the neighborhood on several occasions if they weren’t so lackadaisical. I often see cops standing around or in their cars with their faces glued to their phones.

    6. dannyboy says:

      Finally someone got up and vacated a seat for someone who needed it.

    7. Edie says:

      Yeah enough butt kissing the cops, they’re just doing their job. Sick of the photo ops, we haven’t forgotten Eric Garner yet and your smug photos aren’t going to change that.

    8. Kindly Dr. Daved says:

      Staten Island? Obviously a Trumper! Did he ever try it with “Make America Great Again” hat? He picked Banco Popular because he thought it was Mexican, obviously; those Trumpers think all Hispanics are alike. Good work by the NYPD! Congrats

    9. Christine E says:

      Thank you, NYPD officers, for apprehending the thief and without incident or danger to anyone on the bus.

    10. naro says:

      Great job cops. We love you.

    11. Cato says:

      I don’t know why the alleged perpetrator needed to be described as “wearing a hat”.

      A lot of people who wear hats don’t go around robbing banks.

      This kind of unfortunate practice is only going to encourage feelings of hattism. We should instead be learning to live together in peace and harmony, people who wear hats and people who don’t wear hats, all of us.

    12. UWSHebrew says:

      I was not expecting a tough-looking sleeve-tattood lady when I saw the cop name “Sarah Frankel”. Would not want to mess with her…

    13. B.B. says:

      Sadly much as one suspected; thefts and or attempts were committed due to substance abuse (heroin).

      Other media sources are reporting Joseph DiBenedetto confessed to his latest attempt and other bank robberies, all to get money (about $22K in all) for his drug habit.

      Heroin addiction is reaching rampant proportions in NYC and in particular Staten Island. It seems not a week or month passes without someone being reported of dying from an overdose, and those are the reported deaths. Other times you just see an obituary of a 20 or 30 year old who died with no apparent cause given. But if you dig deep…

      Joseph DiBenedetto’s attorney attempted to get him sent to hospital or another healthcare setting equipped to deal with his withdrawal symptoms which apparently have begun. Presiding judge was having none of it so the guy sits at Metropolitan Correctional.

      Sad in a way; am guessing the guy came from a nice family and background, now his life is pretty much over. With eleven robberies and or attempts those charges alone will send him away for decades.