Three men from Brooklyn, New York, have been charged with robbing two banks in the city earlier this year. The suspects of the New York heists reportedly stole cash and other valuables worth $5 million.
According to the New York Daily News, the three suspects, identified as Michael Mazzara, 44; Charles Kerrigan, 40; and Anthony Mascuzzio, 36, were arrested on Tuesday morning.
“In the dark of the night, these defendants allegedly blowtorched their way through the roofs and the vaults of two different banks, stealing over $5 million in cash and customer valuables kept in safe deposit boxes,” Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a press release.
The crew used torches to cut holes in the roof of an HSBC bank to get inside for the heist. pic.twitter.com/yJ7VjtQjnq
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) July 26, 2016
The suspects of the New York heists robbed a branch of HSBC Bank in Brooklyn in April and a branch of the Maspeth Federal Savings Bank in Queens in May, according to court papers.
NYPD Commissioner William J. Bratton said the suspects who carried out the New York heists were very “meticulous” and left few clues for investigators. NYPD and FBI investigators were able to gather evidence against the three suspects by assessing their phone and financial records and reviewing surveillance footages, AP reported.
Two of the suspects were reportedly seen on surveillance video at Home Depot purchasing tools for their heists. Some of the items purchased include plywood, gas tanks, and paint, CBS New York reported.
NYPD Commissioner Bratton said the trio got the blowtorches used to cut through the roofs and the vaults of the banks during the burglaries from a Brooklyn welder. According to AP, the suspects were also seen on surveillance video as they prepared for and conducted the heists.
“These heists resembled scenes from the movie Heat – the work of a crew that was well organized, meticulous, and elusive to law enforcement,” Bratton said. He credited investigators for their “painstaking persistence” to gather evidence and build the case.
The suspects of the New York heists robbed a branch of HSBC Bank in Borough Park on April 8, according to court papers. The FBI revealed that the trio stored their supplies at an empty shop next to the bank, CBS New York reported. The burglars reportedly disabled the bank’s alarm system and Verizon phone lines in the area before the robbery.
Investigators have revealed that during the heist, the burglars used acetylene blowtorches to cut through the top of the vault of the bank after cutting their way into the building through the roof in a similar way. They reportedly stole about $330,000 in cash and other valuable items. Investigators reportedly found tanks used to hold oxygen and acetylene on the roof of the building after the robbery.
During the heist at the branch of the Maspeth Federal Savings Bank at Woodhaven Boulevard in Queens in May, the robbers also cut through the roof of the bank and into the vault with blowtorches. They made away with about $296,000 in cash and valuable items worth up to $4.3 million. Court papers show that the suspects built a structure on the roof of the bank to shield their activities. Investigators also found some of the tools used for the heist on the roof of the building.
All three suspects of the New York heists have been charged with one count of conspiracy to commit bank burglary and one count of bank burglary. Both charges have a combined maximum sentence of 25 years in prison. Meanwhile, Kerrigan and Mazzara have also been charged with a second count of bank burglary and could be sentenced to an additional 20 years in prison each.
Mazzara’s lawyer has said that his client is innocent, according to New York Daily News. The legal representatives of the other suspects have not spoken to the press.
The suspects of the New York heists are set to be arraigned in court on Wednesday.
[Photo by Bruce Schreiner/AP Photo]