A transsexual Queens Village man who robbed four Nassau County banks to pay for hormone treatments was sentenced to eight to 16 years in prison Friday, said Dan Looney, a spokesman for the Nassau County district attorney's office.
Judge Frank Gulotta sentenced Patrick Smith, 42, in Nassau County Court in Mineola to two-to-four years on each of the four counts of third-degree robbery, ordering that the terms be served consecutively. Smith could have received a maximum sentence of 14 to 28 years in prison, Looney said.
The robberies took place between Feb. 6 and March 7 at two Citibank branches, one of which Smith robbed twice, and one at Ridgewood Savings Bank, all on Hempstead Turnpike in Franklin Square. In each case, Smith handed a threatening note to a bank teller. No one was injured in any of the robberies.
Smith, who lived at 93-19 Hollis Court Blvd., was arrested on March 12 after stealing almost $6,500, which he said he needed to maintain the shape and appearance of a woman.
"He alluded to the fact that he needed the money to keep his ... enhancements," Det. Lt. Kevin Smith, a spokesman for the Nassau County Police Department, told the TimesLedger following the defendant's arrest.
Those enhancements, which included female breasts, initially confused investigators, who were unsure of whether they were seeking a man or a woman.
According to police, Smith used the bus on his way to and from each crime scene, a pattern that eventually allowed police to predict his movements and arrest the man. He was apprehended on his way to another Ridgewood Savings Bank branch at 1010 Hempstead Turnpike, which officers believed he was planning to rob.
The thief later told investigators that he found the bus service in the area very prompt, Smith said.
Reach reporter Dan Trudeau by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 173.
©2003 Community News Group
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