Watch CBS News

Police: Thieves Cut Hole In Roof Of Bank In Queens, Steal Safe Deposit Boxes

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - Thieves cut a hole in the roof of a bank in Queens and stole the contents of several safe deposit boxes, police said Monday.

An employee at the Maspeth Federal Savings on Woodhaven Boulevard near 64th Road noticed a hole in the roof Monday morning.

Whoever burglarized the bank left the empty safe deposit boxes on the roof, police said.

"Is one of my boxes hit?" customer John Lionetti asked 1010 WINS' Al Jones.

The thieves cut holes through two back yard fences to get to the bank around midnight on Saturday, CBS2's Steve Langford reported. They then used a neighbor's ladder to get to the top of the bank.

A next-door neighbor told Langford that the burglary had to be well-planned, since another of the bank's neighbors is always away on Saturday nights.

"They must have watched for several weeks that we were not here over the weekends because if we were here, they wouldn't do it," the neighbor said.

One man told Langford that he called police Saturday afternoon, hours before the break-in, after noticing a hole in the fence and a ladder.

"When I saw the hole in the fence and the ladder on the ground, I notified the local precinct," the man said. "They said they had no open case and they knew nothing about it.

The NYPD told CBS2 the commanding officer is looking into the matter.

The man added he did not see police come by to take a look.

Police suspect that a black, plywood shelter erected on the roof was put up to cover-up the break-in.

"So where do you put your money? You can't put in the bank. You can't keep it in your house. If you have important papers, you can't put them in a safe deposit box. What do you do?" customer John Dubrowski told Jones. "With all this sophisticated security they have today, this is the result of it. It's unbelievable."

"I have a lot of documents and all kinds of important stuff in the safe deposit box," a customer named Jeff told Jones. "I am very upset right now."

Police are looking into a possible connection to another bank burglary in Borough Park in April, among others.

"That's part of a pattern we're looking into right now," said NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce. "It's a 10 case pattern about a year now."

Boyce called the suspects "pros," adding that they cut the video surveillance, but said the NYPD has some images of the suspects.

In that incident, the thieves cut a hole in the roof of the HSBC Bank on 13th Avenue and 44th Street. They got away with $280,000.

There's no word yet on how much was taken in Monday's incident.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.