Tattoo Helps Cops Catch Bank Robber
Returning to the scene of two of his alleged crimes proved costly for a suspected bank robber from Bushwick who was picked up by police last Friday, July 27, for a series of heists in Ridgewood, Elmhurst, Brooklyn and Staten Island committed earlier that week, law enforcement sources said.
The suspect was identified by police as 32-year-old Shaun Szaraz of DeKalb Avenue, who was collared at a Modell’s sporting goods store located on Graham Avenue in East Williamsburg, a short distance from the Chase bank which he allegedly held up on back-to-back days last Monday and Tuesday, July 23 and 24.
According to published reports, one of the officers-who were conducting surveillance near the bank- spotted Szaraz, who had a tattoo on the back of his neck matching the one observed on the bandit in one of the robberies.
In all, authorities said, the Bushwick resident was charged with committing six heists between last Sunday, July 22, and Thursday, July 26. On the latter day, police said, Szaraz allegedly robbed a pair of Elmhurst banks located on the same Queens Boulevard block in a span of two minutes.
The perpetrator was also charged with the armed holdup of a Citibank branch on Metropolitan Avenue in Ridgewood last Wednesday morning, July 25, which was reported in last week’s Times Newsweekly.
In each of the six capers, police said, Szaraz allegedly entered the bank, approached a teller and demanded cash. After being provided with various amounts of currency, he reportedly fled from the scene in an unknown direction.
No injuries were reported in any of the incidents.
Law enforcement sources said the pattern started last Sunday, July 22 at around 10:55 a.m., when Szaraz visited the Northfield Bank located at 2706 Hylan Blvd. in Staten Island.
The next day, authorities noted, the suspect swiped cash from the Chase bank located at 12 Graham Ave. in East Williamsburg at around 4:20 p.m. last Monday, July 23. In that caper, the NYPD stated, the alleged thief was observed wearing a black shirt with a red design and a black and red baseball cap.
Police stated that Szaraz returned to the same East Williamsburg branch just 24 hours later, at around 4:25 p.m. last Tuesday, July 24, and swiped money again.
Officers from the 90th Precinct responded to both heists.
Reportedly, the suspect robbed at gunpoint the Citibank at 51-10 Metropolitan Ave. in Ridgewood last Wednesday at around 9:50 a.m.
Law enforcement sources said Szarez allegedly arrived at the bank via livery cab, then entered the branch, approached a teller and handed over a note demanding cash
When the employee hesitated, according to the criminal complaint, Szaraz allegedly banged th counter with a hard object wrapped in a white towel, which was believed to be a firearm. The teller reportedly removed over $5,000 in cash and ahnded it over to the suspect, who fled from the scene.
Members of the 104th Precinct responded to the heist.
Finally, police noted, Szaraz allegedly swiped cash from two banks located next door to each other on the same Elmhurst block last Thursday morning. First, the suspect reportedly visited the Citibank located at 87-11 Queens Blvd. at 11:41 a.m., then walked over to the HSBC bank located several steps away at 87-03 Queens Blvd. two minutes later.
Members of the 110th Precinct to the two capers.
Following his arrest last Friday, Szaraz was arraigned in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn before Magistrate Judge Roanne Mann, who ordered him held without bail on a permanent order of detention, according to a spokesperson for the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York.
The NYPD Major Case Squad and the FBI’s New York office conducted the investigation.