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‘Trigger man’ sought in heist

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A man armed with what looked like a trigger to a bomb is being sought for robbing an area bank recently. Officials said that the suspect, described as a 6’, 180-pound white male in his forties sporting a goatee, walked into the Commerce Bank at 8206 Fifth Avenue just after 2:30 p.m. on December 23 and handed the teller a threatening note. He then showed a remote control device, which he claimed was connected to an explosive. The thief fled the bank with an undisclosed amount of money. As this paper was going to press, the police had distributed a surveillance photo of the would-be bomber. While the two have yet to be officially connected, the incident is quite similar to another bank robbery that took place on 18th Avenue near 43rd Street in early December. In that case, a man described as a 5’11”, 170-pound white male in his late 20s and early 30s with graying hair tucked under a brown baseball hat and glasses, entered an Astoria Federal Savings Bank just before 3 p.m. on December 8. The man reportedly passed a note to a teller, threatening to harm other customers if he didn’t get any money, officials said. “No dye packs,” the man warned. “If I get a dye pack I will ignite the device.” The device was the radio transmitter, which was taped to his chest, cops were told. Whether the transmitter was connected to anything was anyone’s guess, officials said. Police said that the thief ran out of the bank with just over $1300, officials said. Officials are asking anyone with information regarding this thief’s whereabouts to call the NYPD CrimeStoppers hotline at (800) 577-TIPS. All calls will be kept confidential.

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