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Alleged Bank Robber, Alleged Getaway Driver Arrested On Long Island

Suffolk County Police Cruiser

FILE – Suffolk County police cruiser (file/credit: Mike Xirinachs/WCBS 880)

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NESCONSET, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Suffolk County police arrested a Kings Park man on Monday, on allegations that he robbed seven banks in a period of just over two weeks.

Police also arrested a suspected getaway driver.

The robberies happened between May 24 and Monday. In each incident, the suspect passed a note demanding money from a teller and then fled the bank, police said.

Using video surveillance and Crime Stoppers tips from the public, Pattern Crime Unit detectives identified the suspect as Brian Blackford, 40, police said.

Blackford was caught after he allegedly committed another robbery on Monday. Police alleged he walked into the Capital One Bank at 250 Smithtown Blvd. in Nesconset, approached a teller, and demanded cash.

The teller complied, and the suspect ran off to an awaiting vehicle, police said. Police caught up with the car and arrested Blackford, along with the alleged getaway driver – Fitzalla Coward, 51, of Brentwood, at 2:50 p.m.

Blackford was charged with robbery in the Monday incident and in six other incidents. Police alleged he also robbed:

• A Capital One in Deer Park on May 24;
• A Bank of America in Commack on May 27;
• A Bethpage Federal Credit Union in Farmingdale on May 29;
• A Capital One in Farmingdale on June 2;
• A TD Bank in Sayville on June 3;
• A Citibank in North Lindenhurst on June 5.

Coward was charged with one count of third-degree robbery in the Monday incident, police said.

Both Blackford and Coward were to be held at the Suffolk County police First Precinct, and were to be arraigned in First District Court in Central Islip on Tuesday.

Anyone with information about the incidents was asked to make an anonymous call to Suffolk County Crime Stoppers at (800) 220-TIPS.

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