The first bank robbery attempt in New York City in 2017 was a bust.
Using a tactic that has become common among would-be bank robbers in the last few months, a man walked into a Chase bank in Midtown Manhattan on Jan. 3, and passed the teller a note demanding money, the NYPD reported.
The teller promptly walked away from the window and the suspect fled empty-handed from the location, on Park Avenue South between East 32nd and 33rd streets.
Police released an image of the suspect taken from the bank’s surveillance camera. He is described as about 40 years old, 5 foot 6 and 155 pounds. He was last seen wearing a black hooded jacket, gray sweatpants, black and white sneakers and latex gloves. He had a slight beard.
Chase has become one of the more popular banks for thieves in New York who use the same method of note-passing, according to police reports. None has shown a weapon or threatened to have one during the incidents.
Since the fall, about a dozen suspects have each struck at multiple banks and branches in Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens and Brooklyn, according to the NYPD. They have had varying degrees of success, and police have made a couple of arrests. But the majority of would-be robbers have gotten away, with or without money.
Among the suspects who remain at large is a man wanted for robbing six Chase branches in Queens since Sept. 30. In total, he has stolen $17,000 cash, getting away with a few thousand dollars each time, and each time he passed a note demanding money.
After that suspect's latest bank robbery on Dec. 27, a Chase spokesman told Metro the bank was "working closely with law enforcement related to these incidents."
Anyone with information about any of the recent bank robberies should call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-8477, or for Spanish 888-577-4782. Tips can also be submitted at the Crime Stoppers website at nypdcrimestoppers.com or by texting to 274637, then entering TIP57. All calls are confidential.