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Borough investigators traveled to the Garden State last week to apprehend the bumbling bank robber allegedly responsible for hitting a Park Slope bank twice in three days. Police said that after a two-week search, Clenzo Thompson was tracked down to Boonton, New Jersey, where he was shacking up at a friends house. Thompson was taken into custody without incident, charged with robbery in the third degree, menacing, grand larceny and petit larceny for the two heists he allegedly committed at the Park Slope Commerce Bank on 5th Avenue near Garfield Place. Ironically, a $1,000 bail was set at his January 26 arraignment roughly a third of the loot he allegedly took from Park Slope banks during the two heists. But Thompson, who was out on parole after being arrested for another bank heist in 2003, has his scars from last months robberies. Or, more appropriately, he has his flash burns. Police said that during both heists, a nimble-fingered teller snuck in a dye pack in with the money. The dye packs, which are designed to explode after passing a sensor at the bank door, blew up in his face both times, according to police and published reports. Recalling the two heists, Commerce Bank employees told police that Thompson arrived bright and early on January 12, found waiting in the foyer at 7:30 a.m. as they opened for business. Police alleged that he walked up to a teller counter and handed over a threatening note, demanding the money from the cash drawer. Thompson fled the bank with $2,300 in cash, but it wasnt long before the dye pack exploded. Bloodhounds tracked the thief to Prospect Park when the trail went cold, officials said. But Thompson didnt go too far, investigators soon learned. He allegedly returned to the bank just after 11 a.m. on January 14, again passing a threatening note to a teller. He ran out with over $1,740 in cash, but another dye pack secreted in the money exploded as he entered a livery cab he had waiting for him. The cab driver abandoned the vehicle as the suspect got behind the wheel and drove off in the dye-stained car, abandoning the vehicle a few blocks away. When questioned, the livery driver told police that he picked Thompson up at the corner of Fulton and Clinton streets just before 10 a.m. that Sunday. He took Thompson to Commerce Bank, but the bank wasnt open yet. In order to kill time, Thompson asked the livery driver to take him to a nearby McDonalds so he could get some food. He then asked the cabbie to take him back to the bank the thief back to the bank, officials were told. Police said that back in 2003, Thompson robbed another borough bank, but was quickly apprehended when he accidentally dropped is ID card as he made his getaway. In light of the two heists, as well as another robbery that took place last Halloween, officials at Commerce Bank have enrolled their Park Slope branch in a special city program where off-duty cops are hired to bolster security.
©2007 Community Newspaper Group
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