UPDATED May 18, 12:30 p.m.
The Brooklyn man dubbed the “Coast to Coast Bandit” by authorities for allegedly robbing banks in New York and Los Angeles — including two banks in Elmhurst this week — has been caught.
According to police, 50-year-old Jon P. Waulters of Porter Avenue in Bushwick was busted shortly after making the second of two bank robbery attempts in Manhattan on May 17. Law enforcement agents additionally charged him with five other heists in Manhattan dating back to March of this year and two attempted robberies at banks near the Queens Center Mall in Elmhurst on Monday afternoon, May 15.
The FBI nicknamed Waulters the “Coast to Coast Bandit” because he is also believed to have robbed a bank in Los Angeles last month, according to published reports.
Regarding the Elmhurst capers, law enforcement sources said the crook first hit the Apple Bank at 91-31 Queens Blvd. in Elmhurst at 1:55 p.m. on May 15; he approached the teller and verbally announced the robbery, then provided a demand note. The teller proceeded to inform him that she had no money, to which the robber replied that he had a gun.
After the teller again refused to comply with his request, police noted, the suspect took off on foot empty-handed and was seen heading northbound on Queens Boulevard.
Authorities said the bandit then walked into the Chase bank located at 89-21 Queens Blvd. at 2 p.m., approached a teller and handed over a demand note that stated, “This is a robbery. No joke. Give me all your money.” This time, the employee complied with the request and provided an undetermined amount of cash to the crook, who fled the scene northbound on Queens Boulevard.
Both attempted heists were reported to the 110th Precinct; there were no injuries.
Detectives recovered security camera images from both banks that showed the suspect wearing a New York Mets baseball cap and a dark-colored, long-sleeved dress shirt.
Waulters was charged with committing the following bank robbery attempts in Manhattan:
- the March 9 heist at the Santander Bank located at 1062 3rd Ave., in which he used a note to steal an undetermined sum of money;
- the March 13 caper at the Chase bank at 450 3rd Ave., in which the note-carrying crook received an undetermined amount of cash;
- the May 11 incident at the Chase bank located at 1003 Lexington Ave., in which he displayed a firearm and received various sums of money;
- the May 17 caper at the HSBC bank located at 1165 3rd Ave., in which the suspect displayed a firearm and demanded cash, but was turned away by the teller; and
- the May 17 heist at the Capital One Bank at 1295 2nd Ave., in which he stole an unknown sum of currency after presenting a demand note.
According to NBC New York, Waulters was apprehended shortly after the Capital One Bank heist on May 17 after police officers spotted him near the Queensboro Bridge. He was charged with seven counts of robbery; additional charges are pending the results of the ongoing investigation.