NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Three men, including a corrections officer, have been charged in a series of daytime armored car robberies in the Bronx.
The men stole over $100,000 in cash during gunpoint stickups of three armored cars in August and December of last year, federal officials said.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said the defendants put lives at risk.
During a holdup on Dec. 15, officials said one of the suspects exchanged gunfire with an armored car guard on busy Westchester Avenue in Soundview. Nobody was hit.
“This vicious activity put everyday citizens in the forefront of violence,” FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Diego Rodriquez said.
“Our city – because of the hard work of agents, detectives, and prosecutors – is a little bit safer,” Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said in a statement.
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Arrested were 29-year-old Michael Santiago, a corrections officer at Downstate Correctional Facility in Fishkill, 34-year-old Kenneth Smith and 20-year-old Bruce Collazo.
Santiago had earlier worked as a driver for one of the armored car companies, officials said. The state corrections department said Santiago has been suspended without pay.
The three men appeared in federal court in Manhattan Thursday to face conspiracy to commit robbery and weapons charges.
Officials said other members of the robbery crew remain at large.
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