Today’s news:

Queens Village transsexual charged in bank rob string

A Queens Village transsexual who allegedly went on a monthlong bank-robbing spree to pay for hormone treatments to make him look like a woman was arrested last week and charged with robbery, police said.

Patrick Smith, 42, of 93-19 Hollis Court Blvd. is accused of using threatening notes to hold up four Long Island banks and make off with about $6,400, a spokesman for the Nassau County Police Department in Mineola said. Smith later told officers that he was using the money to pay for hormones that gave him the appearance and body shape of a woman, the spokesman said.

“He alluded to the fact that he needed the money to keep his...enhancements,” the spokesman, Detective Lt. Kevin Smith, said.

Patrick Smith was arraigned in First District Court in Hempstead March 12 on four counts of robbery and remanded without bail, the Nassau County district attorney’s office said. If found guilty, he could face up to seven years in prison.

Patrick Smith allegedly struck two Citibank branches (one of them twice) and a Ridgewood Savings Bank, all on Hempstead Turnpike in Franklin Square, L.I. between Feb. 6 and March 7.

Police zeroed in on the suspect by conducting surveillance along Hempstead Turnpike in Franklin Square, the area where previous robberies had taken place, Detective Smith said.

Because of the “enhancements,” cops did not know whether they were looking for one or two suspects. Witnesses to the robberies described a male suspect, but surveillance videos from the banks showed a person who appeared to have female breasts.

Instead, officers factored in other common elements that linked the robberies. This included focusing on banks that were close to bus stops, as several witnesses reported seeing the suspect arrive and depart by bus, the detective said. Patrick Smith later told officers that he found bus service in the area very prompt, according to the spokesman.

Officers tailed Smith and made the arrest as he approached the Ridgewood Savings Bank at 1010 Hempstead Turnpike. It appeared to the officers that Smith was about to commit another robbery, police said.

Reach reporter Alex Ginsberg by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 157.

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