Brooklyn bank robber nets nearly $300,000 in through-the-roof heist

Josh Einiger Image
Tuesday, April 12, 2016
Brooklyn bank robber nets nearly $300,000 in through-the-roof heist
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Josh Einiger reports from Borough Park.

BOROUGH PARK, Brooklyn (WABC) -- Police are searching for the person or person who robbed a bank in Brooklyn sometime over the past few days by dropping in through a hatch in the roof.

More than 12 hours after arriving, workers realized something was amiss. NYPD Crime Scene investigators were still gathering evidence at the HSBC branch on 13th Avenue in Borough Park trying to solve a daring heist that's the stuff of legends.

It has this insular, mostly Hasidic community, abuzz with conspiracy theories galore.

"I live a block away. I didn't hear anything, I didn't see anything," a resident said.

"It had to be somebody that they knew what they were doing," another resident said.

"I think it might be an inside job," a person said.

"These are professionals. That's scary," another said.

Monday morning, police discovered the way in for what they've determined is surly an experienced crew of crooks.

Someone planned this impeccably, waiting for the bank to close Friday on the eve of the Jewish Sabbath.

Then they cut holes in a chain link fence and used a ladder to get to the roof, where they popped open a hatch, and shimmied right in.

"I've never really heard of anybody robbing a bank going through the roof. Usually they just go in there guns blazing going for a bank. This is a new one for me," a resident said.

Once inside, police sources say, the thieves managed to get into the bank's vault, where they stole cash totaling $280,000. They also went to town on safety deposit boxes, stealing people's most valuable possessions.

And then, they left and somehow, police sources say, the whole caper eluded the glare of who knows how many cameras throughout that bank.

No video recorded, no alarm sounded, just a whole lot of cash gone.

"Maybe they found this area a good target. It's quiet on the weekends, not a lot of police around here, sure they really thought it out," a resident said.

"Maybe we go back to mattresses. More safe," another resident said.

The bank says customers' deposits will not be affected; the money is insured.

A spokesman says the bank is cooperating with authorities in the investigation.

Anyone with information is asked to call police.