EAST NORTHPORT, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Suffolk County Police quickly nabbed a suspected bank robber who tried to escape the scene by paying passing motorists to give him a lift.
As CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez reported, it was anything but a clean getaway.
Police said Nicholas Bono, 29, of East Northport walked into a Bank of America just after 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday.
“The individual approached a bank teller inside the bank and demanded money,” Suffolk County Police Commissioner, Timothy Sini said.
Police said Bono fled with the stolen cash in his own car, but then crashed. Police claim he then paid a passing driver $100 to give him a lift.
“He said he had an emergency, he needed to get to the railroad station. He seemed desperate,” Sini said.
Sini said detectives had already descended on the nearby Northport train station, so Bono jumped into a cab at a neighboring taxi stand instead.
He asked the driver to take him to Melville and then to a motel on Nassau County’s South Shore.
Minutes later detectives arrived at the taxi stand to question drivers.
“When the cops came here, they were describing him, and when they called up the driver who was driving him, they gave the description of him. He heard it and then ran out of the car,” driver Mike Ingrassia said.
After jumping out of the taxi, Bono allegedly paid yet another passing driver to take him to a motel in Massapequa, but having been tipped off by the taxi driver, detectives headed straight there to arrest Bono.
Bank officials wouldn’t comment, but customers were rattled by the brazen daytime holdup.
“Till now, I just walk in there and see the same teller I always do, take my money and go. Now, I’ll look behind my back,” Jason Iannelli said.
Authorities said Bono has a crack cocaine addiction and was released from prison on Monday, after serving more than two years for a 2014 bank robbery.
The passing motorists who gave Bono a ride have not been identified.
Police said they had to give the money back because Bono allegedly paid them with cash he stole from the bank.