A bank robber, known as the “Mad Hatter” for his propensity to change hats for each heist, was nabbed on Tuesday at the Popular Bank on West 90th Street in Manhattan.
The robber, who pulled 11 jobs, has been identified by police as 34-year-old Joseph DiBenedetto of Staten Island, PIX11 New York reported.
Bank employees said they recognized DiBenedetto from NYPD posters despite his newspaper boy hat and sunglasses and stalled. When the money wasn’t handed over quickly enough, the bandit left the bank without his take and with the same disguise.
In previous robberies, the “Mad Hatter” would enter with one outfit, but strip a layer of clothing and put on a new shirt when making his getaway.
The “Mad Hatter” has used a white Panama hat, baseball caps, light and dark fedoras and even a bicycle helmet, the New York Daily News reported in July.
According to PIX11, DiBennedetto confessed to the bank jobs, which started on March 15 this year. His first robbery, at the Santander Bank at 34th Street and Lexington Avenue, yielded $2,200.
DiBennedetto said he was trying to pay for his heroin habit and seemed remorseful, PIX11 reported. He has a history of drug arrests.
DiBennedetto faces federal charges.
The original "Mad Hatter" bank robber confessed in 2007 to a series of 18 bank robberies in New Jersey, the Washington Post reported at the time. There is no apparent connection between the two lid-loving gentlemen.