Suspected bank bandits arrested

June 21, 2008 9:28:02 PM PDT
Two men suspected of robbing a Long Island bank threw wads of cash out of their car window before they were caught Friday on the grounds of a hospital.The robbery took place at a Bank of America branch in Bellmore, Nassau County, police said. The suspects drove north toward the Nassau University Medical Center, at one point tossing money out the window before fleeing on foot.

"Three bundles of cash came out the window. I thought it was an early Christmas," said Terry Ceasar, who works in an auto repair shop across the street from the hospital. He said he began picking up 20, 50 and 100-dollar bills before police arrived to confiscate the evidence.

The hospital and nine schools were locked down for several hours while police searched for the suspects, who weren't immediately identified. One was caught hiding under a car in the hospital's garage. The other was captured as he tried to walk off the property.

Lt. Kevin Smith, spokesman for the Nassau County Police Department, said he doesn't know why the suspects tossed cash out of the car. "They were either trying to dispose of the evidence or were hoping that the police would stop to pick up the money while they escaped," Smith said.

He also said a handgun used in the bank robbery was not recovered and theorized that may also have been tossed from the car at some point.