Howard Beach bank robber with coffee ‘bomb’ caught red-handed after dye pack explodes: cops

red dye explosion robbery feature
Photos: Robert Stridiron/RHS Breaking News Services

He really blew it.

A Howard Beach bank robber who used a fake bomb that turned out to be a can of coffee to steal cash on April 11 was literally caught red-handed moments later after a red dye pack exploded on the stolen cash nearby, police said.

Law enforcement sources said that Michael Ciaccio, 52, of 89th Avenue in Woodhaven, walked into the New York Community Bank located at 156-02 Cross Bay Boulevard at 2:30 p.m. on April 11. He then slipped a note to the teller saying that he had a gun and a bomb and placed on the counter a black plastic bag that was meant to simulate an explosive device.

Police said the teller complied with the demands and handed over $1,300; unbeknownst to Ciaccio, the worker also slipped in a security dye pack. Authorities said the alarm in the bank sounded as the suspect ran out.

Seconds later, authorities said, the dye pack exploded outside of the bank, causing Ciaccio to drop the black plastic bag and some of the money.

Officers from the 106th Precinct responded to the reported robbery and recovered both the dye-stained money and the abandoned “explosive,” which turned out to be a bag full of coffee and other items.

Following a search, Ciaccio — who had dye on his hands and clothing — was located at the nearby Howard Beach Senior Center on the northeast corner of Cross Bay Boulevard and 156th Avenue, located at 155-55 Cross Bay Blvd. He initially refused to identify himself.

Law enforcement sources said that Ciaccio was taken into custody and transferred to federal agents as part of an ongoing investigation. He was charged with robbery and criminal possession of stolen property. He is believed to be a suspect in a recent Richmond Hill bank robbery, it was reported.