49th cops arrest would-be bank thief

A would-be bank bandit/quick-change artist gave cops a merry chase through local streets and backyards before nailing him.

Cops said he walked into a Chase Bank branch on Gun Hill Road about 9 a.m. on Tuesday, September 18, with a note.

“Give me the money or I’m gonna shoot,” read the note.

But the suspect, identified as Christian Aguirre, 20, apparently chickened out and fled from the branch at 1650 East Gun Hill Road.

Forty Ninth Precinct Sgt. Freddy Pineda and other cops responded to the radio dispatch.

After running south on Kingsland Avenue, the thief tried to turn chameleon, changing clothes, but he was spotted by one female officer and ran, fleeing through backyards along Tiemann Avenue.

Pineda executed a grid search, going house to house on Tiemann Avenue.

Playing peek-a-boo

“We were gonna be there the whole day until we got him,” said Pineda, until he finally had a hunch and turned up a tarp covering a backyard patio furniture set.

Voila! One bandit collared. “That was a good hiding spot,” admitted Pineda. “I was so lucky to catch him.”

The suspect gave up without a struggle, said Pineda, a former defensive tackle at his Miami college – “A reason why the guy didn’t resist,” noted precinct Captain Lorenzo “Andy” Johnson.

He was especially grateful for Pineda’s drive in catching the thief, later charged with attempted robbery, trespass and menacing.

Pineda later said the chase certainly broke the boredom.

“Ninety percent of the time we have boring stuff like paperwork,” he said. “But ten percent of the time this is what I live for.”

“If you’re chasing a bank robber and you’re not psyched,” added Johnson, “then you’re in the wrong profession.”

Reach reporter David Cruz at 718-742-3383.

David Cruz can be reach via e-mail at DCruz@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 742-3383

More from Around NYC