Westchester Square bank robbed again

For the second time in two months, the Captial One bank branch at 35 Westchester Square has been robbed.

According to police sources and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, at approximately 1:45 p.m. on Friday, December 3, a white or Hispanic male in his late 30s or early 40s robbed the bank by showing the teller the handle of a handgun which he pulled out of a plastic bag. The suspect, who is described as having a pock-marked face, long black curly hair, and standing about 5’6”, fled with an undisclosed amount of cash.

The individual is described as wearing a knit cap, brown sunglasses, black puffy jacket, gloves, and black pants. The robbery is being investigated by the joint FBI and NYPD Joint Bank Robbery Task Force, which has been in existence since 1979.

“Anyone with information about this individual is asked to call the FBI immediately,” said special agent Richard Kolko of the FBI. “There is a cash reward for information leading to this individual’s arrest and I remind the public that tipsters may remain anonymous.”

On the street, reaction to the robbery seemed to be a cause for concern. While he did not see a commotion, Dominick Principato, who sells hot dogs outside of the bank along with a business partner, was concerned about the frequency of the robberies.

“I have been at this location since September, and this is the second time since October that the bank has been robbed,” Principato said. “I didn’t see anything because I was here taking care of customers, and the next thing I knew the cops showed up and told me the bank had been robbed. Next time, the robber could come out shooting.”

Joe Regina, secretary of the Association of Merchants and Business Professionals of Westchetser Square, said that he believes there needs to be more of a police presence on the Square. He feels that many of these crimes could be prevented if there were more cops on the beat.

“It goes to show that there is not enough police on the street in the Square,” Regina said. “If someone is looking to pull a job, and they don’t see cops walking the beat, then they think that ‘this is the time when I could pull something.’ It is really getting ridiculous because first they were robbed in February, then in October and now again only a little more than a month later.”

Regina said that the hope here is that the police will capture the individual based on what they have on surveillance cameras. The FBI can be contacted at (212) 384-5000.

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