Here's an excerpt of a story we have going in Wednesday's paper:
He’s not John Dillinger — not by a long shot — but a lanky stickup man has the FBI on his tail after he pulled off a three-month bank-robbery spree.
The crook, a thin, 6-foot-4 black man in his 30s who covers the lower half of his face with a cloth, has robbed two banks in Philadelphia and 13 in New York City since Jan. 7, said Special Agent J.J. Klaver, an FBI spokesman. The thief struck again yesterday in New York.
“This is a lot for a serial robber in a short amount of time,” Klaver said. “He’s hitting so many banks so quickly, and he’s armed."
The lanky bandit’s busy schedule reflects a larger trend in Philadelphia, where the number of bank robberies is surging ahead of previous years’ totals.
Since Jan. 1, 30 bank robberies have occurred in the city, compared to 27 at this point a year ago, and 19 at this time in 2007, said Special Agent Bastian Freund, a bank-robbery coordinator.
Armed bank robberies have jumped 50 percent, with six so far in the city compared to three at this point last year, the FBI said.
Klaver said that investigators are concerned by the thieves who brandish weapons — especially the lanky crook who’s been having a field day with banks in New York.
Locally, he held up a Citizens Bank at 17th Street and JFK Boulevard on Feb. 26, and another Citizens Bank at 20th and Market on March 14, Klaver said. Citizens Bank has issued a $10,000 reward for tips that lead to the robber’s capture and conviction.
“We want to catch him before something worse than an armed robbery happens,” Klaver said.
The FBI released images of the bandit yesterday and are hoping that tipsters will call in with information. Freund said that tips from Daily News readers helped capture three of four bank robbers featured in a Jan. 30 issue of the People Paper.