NEW YORK -- Three Brooklyn men have been arrested in connection with two recent bank heists in Brooklyn and Queens that resemble scenes straight out of a movie.
Michael Mazzara, Charles Kerrigan and Anthony Mascuzzio were charged with burglarizing the banks by cutting a hole in the roof of the building and the banks’ vaults, stealing a total of approximately $5 million in cash, jewelry, diamonds, stock certificates, and other valuables.
According to court papers, from April 8 to April 10, 2016, Mazzara and Kerrigan, burglarized an HSBC Bank branch in the Borough Park neighborhood of Brooklyn.
From May 19 to May 22, 2016, Mazzara, Kerrigan, Mascuzzio, burglarized a Maspeth Federal Savings Bank branch in Rego Park, Queens.
On both occasions, the burglars used acetylene blowtorches to cut into the top of the banks’ vaults from the roof of the building. At the Maspeth Federal Savings Bank branch, they shielded their activities from view by constructing a plywood shed on the roof of the bank.
NYPD Commissioner William J. Bratton said the heists resembled scenes from the movie "Heat" -- "the work of a crew that was well organized, meticulous, and elusive to law enforcement."
The crew got away with approximately $330,000 in cash and an unknown amount in valuables from the HSBC branch, and approximately $296,000 in cash and $4.3 million in valuables from the Maspeth bank.
"In the dark of the night, these defendants allegedly blowtorched their way through the roofs and into the vaults of two different banks, stealing over $5 million in cash and customer valuables kept in safe deposit boxes." Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said. "Through their brazen bank heists, the defendants allegedly stole not just people’s money, but their memories too, leaving in their destructive wake gaping holes and looted vaults. But these bank jobs also left enough of a trace for the FBI and NYPD, whose good old-fashioned police work led to the charges and arrests announced today.”
Surveillance footage captured the incident as they prepared for and executed the burglaries. Financial records and video surveillance also showed Mazzara and Mascuzzio purchasing some of the supplies that appear to have been used in the Maspeth burglary.
Mazzara, 44, Kerrigan, 40, and Mascuzzio, 36, all of Brooklyn, are each charged with one count of conspiracy to commit bank burglary, one count of bank burglary.
Mazzara and Kerrigan have also been charged with a second count of bank burglary.
"The Mazzara bank robbery crew did more than just allegedly steal money from banks, they took irreplaceable mementos from people who believed those items were far too valuable to be kept at home." FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Diego Rodriquez said. "These men were allegedly after the money, but they also took heirlooms, jewelry, documents and family photos and tossed them aside. Those items held little value to the men accused in this case, but we hope the community finds some solace in the fact that they will no longer be able to commit these thefts.”