Three Brooklyn men were arrested on Tuesday for their alleged roles in at least two bank burglaries – one in Brooklyn and one Queens – that took place earlier this year, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Roughly $5 million in cash and valuables were collectively taken from a Brooklyn HSBC branch and a Maspeth Federal Savings Bank branch in Queens, in April and May respectively, Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced alongside Diego Rodriquez, assistant director-in-charge of the New York Field Office of the FBI and New York City NYPD Police Commissioner William Bratton on Tuesday, July 26.
Michael Mazzara, 44, Charles Kerrigan, 40, and Anthony Mascuzzio, 36, are each being charged with one count of conspiracy to commit bank burglary and one count of bank burglary after surveillance footage captured the trio “preparing to execute the burglaries,” according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Additional financial records and video show Mazzara and Mascuzzio purchasing a few of the supplies that connect with the Maspeth burglary.
“These heists resembled scenes from the movie ‘Heat’ – the work of a crew that was well organized, meticulous and elusive to law enforcement,” said Bratton. “This investigation was conducted with painstaking persistence. Left with few clues after the heists, our crime scene teams hunted for every shred of evidence. From the plywood purchased at a nearby Home Depot, to the torches from a Brooklyn welder used to muscle into the vault, the picture slowly came into focus, resulting in today’s arrests and charges.”
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the crew burglarized the banks by using acetylene blowtorches to cut into the top of the banks’ vaults from the buildings’ roofs. At the Maspeth branch, the crooks shielded themselves by constructing a plywood shed on the roof of the bank. The burglars then entered the vaults from above, broke open safe deposit boxes and took cash, jewelry, diamonds, stock certificates and other valuables.
“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,” said Bharara. “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.”
All three suspects could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted.