REGO PARK, Queens (WABC) --Three men were arrested after two recent bank burglaries in Brooklyn and Queens during which the suspects accessed vaults through holes in the roof.
Michael Mazzara, Charles Kerrigan and Anthony Mascuzzio were charged in the break-ins at the HSBC Branch on 4406 13th Ave. in Borough Park Brooklyn, and the similar burglary of a Maspeth Federal Savings Bank branch at 64-19 Woodhaven Boulevard in Rego Park.
Approximately $5 million in cash and valuables were stolen during the two burglaries in April and May.
"These heists resembled scenes from the movie 'Heat,' the work of a crew that was well organized, meticulous, and elusive to law enforcement," Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said.
According to court papers, FBI agents had been watching Mazzara's Brooklyn home since November 2014, when they placed a surveillance camera on a pole across the street. The camera captured the suspects returning from both bank robberies with their loot.
"Over the past several years, the FBI and NYPD have been investigating a pattern of bank burglaries and attempted bank burglaries in and around NYC," papers said. "These burglaries and attempted burglaries involve a crew of individuals who break or attempt to break into secured bank vaults and safety deposit boxes, generally by cutting through a roof or a wall from a space adjoining the bank. This crew is believed to have included, at various points in time, Michael Mazzara, Charles Kerrigan and Anthony Mascuzzio, among others."
At least one other co-conspirator who was not named in the federal complaint appears to be cooperating with investigators.
The HSBC Bank was burglarized between 1:45 p.m. on April 8 and 5:30 a.m. on April 10. The roof was cut by using a blow torch, with acetylene tanks discovered nearby. The alarm wires were cut from the inside before the bank closed and the telephone wiring from a Verizon utility box a block away from the bank was cut. The suspects are accused of going into the bank through the vacant store next door to remove approximately $330,000 in cash and contents from the safe deposit boxes.
The Maspeth Federal Savings Bank Branch was burglarized between 9:30 p.m. on May 20 and 3 a.m. on May 22. Once again, a blow torch fueled by an acetylene tank was used. A four-sided black "plywood structure" and a tarp were used to hide them from view. The alarm went off at 1 a.m. May 21, was reset at 1:20 a.m. and went off again at 2 a.m. About $296,000 in cash was taken, as well as $4.3 million in cash, diamonds, jewelry, coins and baseball cards from safe deposit boxes.
Police quickly connected the Rego Park burglary with the through-the-roof heist in Borough Park in April.
There have been 10 burglaries like this across the city since 2011. Police said the thieves generally tried to get the safety deposit boxes, stacking them up on the roof as they went through them.
No arrests have been made in any of the cases.