NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A bold thief is wanted in at least 11 incidents after managing to elude police, even though they know exactly who they’re looking for.
In exclusive video obtained by CBS 2’s Sean Hennessey, suspect Cornell Neilly is seen at work in a bank, passing a note, getting cash and then taking off. He’s allegedly done it so well, he is now one of the NYPD’s most wanted.
Detective John Timpanaro said Neilly has been averaging a bank hit every few days.
“It’s a demand for U.S. currency, so nobody gets hurt. And he asks specifically for hundreds and fifty dollar bills, for no dye packs,” Timpanaro said.
The one-man robbery spree began at a Sovereign Bank in mid-April and then a few weeks later 10 more robberies occurred in less than three weeks. Most of the banks were on Broadway and Park Avenue and two of the banks were hit twice.
Police said Neilly pulled off three bank robberies in one day, striking a HSBC at 1:15 p.m., a Chase at 2:03 p.m. and another Chase branch three hours later.
“He comes wandering up Broadway without a mask, without a disguise and he just seems to be getting very lucky,” Timpanaro said.
Once inside, police say Neilly’s notes sometimes threaten a weapon, but he’s never actually flashed one. Police said the 21-year-old always wears a baseball cap, new clothes and black wire-rimmed glasses.
Police said the intellectual-looking bank robber has an extensive record and has served time for drug dealing. On Thursday night, detectives were passing out wanted flyers hoping someone may recognize the ex-con.
“We feel very close,” Timpanaro said.
Investigators said while it’s unusual to single-handedly pull off 11 bank robberies, his luck is about to run out.
“Most cops on the corner here they have his picture in their pocket,” Timpanaro said.
Police know where Neilly hangs out and are hopeful once people see his picture, his capture will be hours or days away.
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