FRANKLIN SQUARE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Long Island bank customers and employees faced real danger during a bank heist and shootout in Franklin Square this week.
As CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reported, the suspect in the Thursday incident was undergoing surgery after being wounded in the attempted heist. Meanwhile, police were trying to determine whether he was responsible for several other bank robberies.
Seven employees and eight customers inside the Chase Bank, at 654 Franklin Ave. in Franklin Square, witnessed chaos and panic as the armed robber announced a holdup and waved a semiautomatic handgun.
“That’s a really scary feeling, to hear shots fired and not know what’s going on,” said bank patron Kristin Clark.
Nassau County police arrived within three minutes of the harried 911 calls. The suspect had been shot and wounded by a security guard at whom he allegedly pointed his gun.
“One security guard unholstered his weapon and fired approximately four times, striking that male subject,” said Nassau County police Assistant Chief Neil Delargy.
The busy strip mall on Franklin Avenue was filled with shoppers when the robbery happened late Thursday afternoon. Patrons in the adjoining Starbucks Coffee ran for cover, and the CVS next door reacted swiftly and locked the doors.
The bank did not want to share its surveillance video or discuss multiple robberies there recently.
“This one here has been robbed, what, five times,” said bank patron Al Borgioli. “You know, it’s about time they do something.”
“Very concerned – I live here. I live in Franklin Square,” said Debra Bogdanov. “It’s very scary. You’re afraid to walk out your door these days.”
In fact, over a 36-hour period, there were four violent armed bank robberies across Long Island. Banks were hit in Franklin Square, Valley Stream, East Northport, and Bay Shore.
Some residents suggested more banks hire retired or off-duty police officers, who would be trained in firearms and tactics. They would wear a uniform with a visible gun belt as a deterrent to armed robbers.
Police said it appeared bank robbers target the Franklin Square area because they can make a quick getaway on the nearby Southern State Parkway.