Note-passing bandit hunt

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Police have identified the note-passing bandit wanted for seven bank robberies – five of which took place right in the heart of the borough of churches.

Thanks to surveillance photos taken at his various visits to area banks, 48-year-old Todd Bowen has been connected with the citywide robbery pattern.

While Bowen, described as a six-foot-tall black male in his thirties, spent most of his carefree criminal days in Bensonhurst, investigators said he’s allegedly ventured out to Windsor Terrace to rob one bank there – which he hit on two separate occasions.

For the past several weeks, detectives have released photos of the thief snapped up by surveillance cameras, although his face was usually obscured with hats and dark sunglasses.

During a robbery at the Capital One Bank at 2150 86th Street on April 16, his head was covered with an oversized cap, which made identification almost impossible.

During that heist, which ultimately failed, Bowen allegedly entered the bank at 5 p.m. and handed a teller a note which made no threats. Instead, it only read “100s, 50s and 20s.”

The teller didn’t quite know what to make of the note, police were told.

Frustrated, Bowen allegedly stormed out of the bank empty-handed, only to resurface nearly two hours later at the Commerce Bank at 210-212 Prospect Park South West, where he allegedly attempted the same scam, although albeit this time more successfully.

Banking on his past success, the thief reportedly returned to the same Windsor Terrace branch on April 21, robbing the place of an undetermined amount of money.

Investigators alleged that the thief is also responsible for robbing the Capitol One Bank at 2150 86th Street at an earlier date in March, a Commerce Bank at 2173 86th Street on April 4 as well as a Capital One Bank and a Washington Mutual Bank in Manhattan last month.

No injuries have been reported.

Cops are asking anyone with information regarding this thief’s whereabouts to call the NYPD CrimeStoppers hotline at (800) 577-TIPS. All calls will be kept confidential.

Updated 3:46 pm, October 19, 2011
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