NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Two men tied up two bank tellers in Queens on Saturday morning, but police arrived just in time to foil their robbery.
As CBS2's Dave Carlin reported, bank robberies tend to be fast affairs with the crooks running in to get the cash out. But Saturday morning at Chase bank in Jamaica Estates, six officers stopped a hold up in progress and caught two armed suspects.
Shortly after the opening of this Chase bank at the corner of Utopia Parkway and Union Turnpike, police said two men went into to rob the bank. There were four people already inside.
The men tied up two bank employees with plastic zip ties and made their way behind the teller windows to where the money was stored, police said.
A coworker managed to activate the silent panic alarm. Witnesses said officers arrived quickly. They were already in the area.
"We were at the location within a minute," Officer Harris Correa said. "It was very surreal."
"The first thing we saw was the armed assailant," he continued. "We were instructing him to drop the weapon, and he stated to us, 'you drop the guns.'"
But the standoff was brief. The suspects saw they were surrounded and outnumbered by the half dozen officers and put down their guns, sliding them over as instructed.
"That's actually insane. This is such a good neighborhood, so it's crazy that even happened," Fresh Meadows resident Alexia Hibbert said.
There were no customers inside at the time. The ones who came later found the branch closed for the day.
"I have to take out money, deposit money from the bank," customer Anajae Lamb said.
Minor inconveniences but major relief all around.
Police said the two suspects have extensive criminal histories. One is a 36-year-old with prior arrests for drugs, weapons and sexual misconduct. The other is a 40-year-old and police said his rap sheet includes robbery and second-degree murder.
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