An armed thug wielding a handgun stuck up a bank in Westchester Square in broad daylight on Monday, October 25.
The suspect, pictured in surveillance footage as an light-skinned Hispanic man who is around 30 years old, walked up to a teller in the bank, pulling a handgun from his backpack and demanding money. The robbery occurred at Capital One Bank at 35 Westchester Square at around 1:05 p.m. The suspect fled on foot with an undisclosed amount of cash.
He is described as being just under six feet tall, wearing a NY Yankees cap and sunglasses during the robbery. Police from the 45th Precinct quickly responded, and within half an hour the Bronx Task Force, 45th Precinct detective squad, and Major Case Squad were all on the scene and inspecting the building and taking statements.
“The suspect fled on foot, first running towards Westchester Avenue and then doubling back towards Frisby Avenue,” said a police source close to the investigation. “He came in on foot and left on foot so we believe that there is a good chance that he is from the area. Thank goodness no one was injured. We have a great picture of the suspect, which we will release.”
The police source said that detectives are still determining how much cash was taken and will be dusting for prints in the bank’s lobby that the robber may have touched. This is the second time since the spring that this bank has been robbed. Westchester Square Merchants Association secretary Joseph Regina, who arrived on the scene shortly after the robbery, said that he felt that the crime was a sign of the times.
“No one on the street who was here saw any commotion,” said Regina. “This is terrible because they were robbed in April or May, and now they got robbed again. You are seeing an increase in these types of robberies at banks and other businesses right now, and it is just an indication of how bad times are.”
The operators of a hot dog stand and a falafel stand on the street near the bank both said they saw nothing out of the ordinary while the crime was in process. Khaled Elhusseiny, one of the pushcart vendors who was set up near the bank at the time of the robbery, said that he believes that banks need to have more visible security.
“I see that a lot of the banks don’t have a lot of security,” Elhusseiny said. “I lived in Dubai before I came to America and there is always some security person in front of the banks that everyone can see. At these banks, it is so easy to come in and go out like this.”