Suffolk police say the serial bank robber who has eluded them for the past two weeks is now behind bars.
Brian Blackford, 40, of Kings Park, was arrested Monday afternoon after robbing a Capital One bank in Nesconset, police said.
It was the seventh bank Blackford had robbed in just over a two-week period, police said.
After fleeing the Capital One at 250 Smithtown Boulevard Monday around 2:30 p.m. into an awaiting vehicle, a description of the suspect and vehicle was broadcast to patrol units, police said.
The vehicle was observed by First Precinct patrol officers who initiated a stop and placed the driver, Fitzalla Coward, 51, of Brentwood, and Blackford under arrest at 2:50 p.m. without incident, police said.
Prior to his arrest, police had already identified Blackford as a suspect using video surveillance, as well as Crime Stoppers tips from the public, police said.
In each of the robberies, Blackford would pass a note demanding money from a teller and then flee the bank with cash, police said.
Police said Blackford is charged with seven counts of third degree robbery for robbing the following banks:
- Capital One in Deer Park on May 24
- Bank of America in Commack on May 27
- Bethpage Federal Credit Union in Farmingdale on May 29
- Capital One in Farmingdale on June 2
- TD Bank in Sayville on June 3
- Citibank in North Lindenhurst on June 5
- Capital One in Nesconset on June 9
Coward is charged with one count third degree robbery for his involvement in Monday's robbery in Nesconset, police said.
Blackford and Coward will be held at the First Precinct overnight and are scheduled to be arraigned at First District Court in Central Islip on Tuesday.
Anyone with information about any of the robberies is asked to call anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS.
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