Police make arrest in 'bouquet bandit' case

July 21, 2010 2:36:08 PM PDT
New York City's police commissioner says a suspect has been arrested in the "bouquet bandit" case.

The pink floral bouquet was a decoy, and that calling card also led police right to this alleged bank robber.

"At 9:15 this morning police arrested Edward Pemberton, also known as the bouquet bandit," said Commissioner Ray Kelly.

The arrest comes less than a week the a teller was passed a note demanding money at the Bank of Smithtown on Seventh Avenue at West 18th Street.

Police say Pemberton also robbed a Capital One branch on Ninth Avenue at West 23rd Street a week earlier, and had a small potted plant in his hand.

"He performed odd jobs in the flower district. Very odd jobs," adds Kelly.

Pemberton worked for Ben Singh and says he borrowed $10 from him last Monday, but didn't return the next day as promised.

He says most florists along West 28th immediately recognized his picture.

"He worked here doing deliveries," said Singh.

Police say the release of surveillance photos led to led to a number of tips.

People who knew the real identity of the so called 'bouquet bandit.'

Investigators showed up at Singh's shop on Tuesday morning, looking for information about Pemberton.

"Nobody believe he could do like this. I can't believe it either," adds Singh.

Pemberton has 14 prior arrests, the most recent for fare beating on July 15. He was released from jail on that charge on Monday.

He also has prior arrests for criminal possession of a controlled substance and robbery.