The greedy bandit who shocked New York by holding up the same downtown bank on three consecutive days is a former mental patient who used the cash for a posh hotel suite and took a chauffeur-driven SUV to his final heist
For the tellers of one Manhattan bank, this nightmare scenario happened three days in a row. More than that, it was the same man each time. Though he was caught after his third heist, his total came to over $26,000.
The crime spree started at 9:19a.m. Monday morning when Chris Burnett, 29, allegedly pushed his way to the front of a bank teller’s line at a Sovereign Bank branch in the Financial District and handed her a note that read ‘Put money in the bag, I have a gun’.
He then raised up a brown paper bag and tapped it on the counter, hinting that he had a gun in the bag that he was ready to use. Burnett walked out with $2,258 that morning, which would end up being his smallest loot of the week.
Clearly unsatisfied – and rather unoriginal – Burnett returned to the same branch the next day at 10.54am. After approaching one teller, Danielle Stephens, who said she had no money, Burnett went up to another teller. For Miss Stephens the ordeal was especially shocking because it was first day in the job.
She said: ‘He told the girl next to me “I will shoot you in the ****ing face if you don’t give me all your money”.’ ‘He walked out with like $14,000,’ she added.
Realizing that they had a repeat customer on their hands, the bank put up a security-camera photo of Burnett and released it to police and local newspapers. Burnett, who lives in Teaneck, New Jersey, was undeterred by his new media presence, however, and decided to make it a hat trick.
Just after 9am on Wednesday he returned, and returned to his first play by handing a teller a demand note. He cut to the chase on the note this time though, as it read ‘I have a gun put all the money in the bag’.
Even though the tellers were used to the routine by this point, they were still completely shocked at his bravado. ‘It was the same dumb ass who hit us yesterday,’ one staffer told The Post. ‘He was huge.’
After Wednesday’s robbery, he walked out of the bank on to Gold Street with $10,002. This time, he didn’t get away scot free though, as two passing police officers driving by recognized him from the photo and one officer pursued him.
In the warnings sent out after Tuesday’s robbery, Burnett was said to be a heavy set black man between 6ft 1in and 6ft 3in with ‘clear skin and close-cropped hair’. The officer tackled Burnett on Gold Street and was brought to Manhattan Criminal Court on three counts of robbery. Burnett had two previous, though minor, arrests.
‘Same guy, three days in a row,’ Miss Stephens said. ‘Obviously he wanted to get caught. He didn’t seem like he was all there,’ she said.
Workers weren’t the only ones stunned by the spree. An unidentified law enforcement source told The Post ‘maybe a handful of times I’ve hear of a guy come back a few weeks later. I’ve never heard of a guy come back two days in a row, let alone three.’ [via NY Post]