Three Brooklyn residents were arrested yesterday for a pair of elaborate and well-orchestrated bank burglaries that involved using blow torches to cut through the banks' roofs to access vaults. Police Commissioner Bill Bratton told reporters, "These heists resembled scenes from the movie Heat—the work of a crew that was well organized, meticulous and elusive to law enforcement." However, the robbers still left what U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said was "enough of a trace for the FBI and NYPD" to track them down.
The authorities say that Michael Mazzara, Charles Kerrigan and Anthony Mascuzzio are the culprits behind the April burglary of an HSBC in Brooklyn and the May burglary of a Maspeth Federal Saving Banks in 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 the bank."
The crew used torches to cut holes in the roof of an HSBC bank to get inside for the heist. pic.twitter.com/yJ7VjtQjnq
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) July 26, 2016
Once they accessed the vaults, they took cash and ransacked safe deposit boxes. The estimated haul from the HSBC burglary was $330,000 in cash and an unknown amount of valuables, while the Maspeth bank was missing $296,000 in cash and $4.3 million in valuables. At the Maspeth bank, empty safe deposit boxes were left on the roof.
Apparently surveillance footage and financial records showed Mazzara, Kerrigan and Muscuzzio preparing for the burglaries. Bratton said they bought plywood at Home Depot and procured torches from a welder in Brooklyn.
FBI Assistant Director Diego Rodriguez said, "They bought new cars and motorcycles, Jet Skis and boats."
"They partied in Las Vegas and took trips to Miami while residents of Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, and Rego Park [Queens] got taken to the cleaners," Bratton added.
The Daily News reports, "Mascuzzio’s father, John Gotti associate Anthony 'Shorty' Mascuzzio, was killed in 1988 during a scuffle at a West Side Manhattan nightclub. The younger Mascuzzio was released from federal lockup in March 2015 after doing time for selling pot." A lawyer is working on a bail package for him, while Mazzara was released on $2 million bond (with an ankle monitoring bracelet) and Kerrigan is free on $150,000 bond (also with an ankle monitoring bracelet).