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Home » Criminal Law » NYC Bank Struggles in Aftermath of Real-Life “Ocean’s” Heist

NYC Bank Struggles in Aftermath of Real-Life “Ocean’s” Heist

george clooney and matt damon stand inside a ransacked bank vaultCustomers of Maspeth Federal Savings Bank in New York’s Queens are mourning the loss of dozens of safe deposit boxes, or rather, their contents. Bank employees discovered the theft when they came across an enormous hole on the building’s roof, as well as a ladder and piles of looted safe deposit boxes. This trail of evidence obviously solves the mystery of how the burglars accessed the vault. Unfortunately for NYPD detectives, none of these findings point toward any potential suspects. The trail is cold.

In other words, these robbers aren’t amateurs.

Whoever robbed Maspeth Federal Savings Bank, be it one person or eleven, would be promising candidates for George Clooney’s crew in Ocean’s 14. Professionals. Even more frustrating for the police is the fact that this bank heist seems to fit squarely in a “10-case pattern” they’ve been investigating since 2011. And if all ten robberies really were executed by the same culprits, we’re looking at a truly impressive five-year streak of bank robberies. You can almost hear them laughing as they rub money all over their faces. Whoever they are.

Bank Robberies and Damage Control

With no suspects for the police to identify, Maspeth Federal Savings Bank has found itself scrambling to reassure their customers. According to the branch’s public statement, the bank will be closed for business over the course of the next few days. This is reasonable, not just because there’s a burglar-sized hole to fix in their vault’s ceiling, but also due to the fact that they’re still assessing the scope of the robbery. Maspeth Federal Savings Bank’s statement addresses this ongoing situation, promising to “keep [their] customers informed as to whether or not their safe deposit boxes were affected by the burglary.”

Even with these assurances, customers are understandably shaken as they wait for the bank to reveal whose boxes were looted. It’s scary, because in many cases, safe deposit boxes are used to protect all kinds of valuables — not just money.

Nicola Maurello, for example, is concerned about the safety of precious heirlooms. He has a safe deposit box in Maspeth Federal Savings Bank containing his family’s jewelry collection. When Maurello visited the bank on Monday to ask about his box, he was turned away by investigators who were still assessing the crime scene. When asked by a New York Times reporter about his concerns, he said, “There’s a lot of memories inside the box.”

Maspeth Federal Savings Bank does provide customers with content insurance for some of their safe deposit boxes. However, not every box comes with automatic coverage. Customers who rented a box and refrained from purchasing insurance, therefore, have a very good reason to be nervous.

The “10-Case Pattern”

As previously stated, NYPD detectives are investigating this robbery as part of an ongoing series, the first of which occurring in 2011. But it’s a more recent heist that raises eyebrows. Just over a month ago, a Brooklyn bank was hit by burglars who entered through a hatch in the roof. Sound familiar?

Like the Maspeth Federal Savings Bank case, April’s robbery of the HSBC bank in Brooklyn stumped investigators. In both cases, security cameras were cleverly avoided, which is one of the main reasons why police officials are guessing that the heists were pulled off by professionals. And how many people in real life are actually skilled enough to replicate a scene that could be from an Ocean’s movie? It’d make sense for these crimes to be connected. At least, that’s how detectives feel.

Look out, John Dillinger…

While this story does inspire the imagination to conjure images of George Clooney, Brad Pitt, and Matt Damon, it’s also somewhat reminiscent of the nonfictional robberies performed by the Dillinger Gang during the Great Depression. Of course, banks were much easier to burgle in those days, so their style was a little different. Rather than sneaking through the ceiling like greedy ninjas, these guys opted for the ole’ scare-them-with-guns-while-the-car’s-still-running strategy.

Nevertheless, I draw a comparison between the Dillinger Gang and whoever’s robbing banks in NYC because of the 10-case pattern. Much like these new guys, the Dillinger Gang managed ten successful robberies between September 1933 and July 1934. What does this mean? It means that, right now, their scores are tied. One more bank, and the ceiling-thieves beat the Dillinger Gang.

Not that doing so will put them at the top of some great list — they’ve got a long way to go to beat Carl Gugasian, the Friday Night Bank Robber. He’s currently in jail for over fifty bank heists, executed over the course of thirty years. That’s more than one bank heist per year. Very impressive.

At Turner Law Offices, P.C., our team of attorneys has years of experience working with clients across a wide range of criminal cases. If you’re wrongfully accused of a theft or property crime, or have suffered as the victim of such an offense, it’s crucial that you’re aware of where you stand legally. Either way, the first step towards a successful resolution is always to hire a theft and property lawyer that you trust. Call today, or go online to set up your free initial consultation, and meet with a skilled Nashville theft attorney who’s ready and waiting to guide you toward the justice you deserve.

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