On Friday, a 16 year old girl was arrested for attempting to rob the First Central Savings Bank on Ditmars Boulevard in Astoria. Chrystie Almestica used a note to demand money from a teller and passed the money to an accomplice. Now the teen says other robbers threatened to kill her parents if she didn't rob the bank.
The Post spoke to Almestica's Legal Aid lawyer, who said, "She was approached by two known bank robbers. They pulled a knife on her and told her to pass the note. She was scared and her conduct was due to coercion." Apparently the "pro thugs" had taken her ID beforehand. A Sprint store manager helped chased her after the robbery; from the Post:
"I just sprang into action," said the Sprint store manager, who would only say his name was John. "I yelled, 'Freeze - police!' She got nervous. She stopped. I told her, 'Get on your knees, put your hands behind your back.' She didn't put up a fight."
The teen initially claimed she hadn't done anything, but after being told she was caught on tape, she said someone put a knife to her throat and forced her to commit the robbery, the manager said.
"In the beginning, she looked confident, as if she was told what to say," he said. "When I told her she's looking at federal time and she's going to be tried as an adult, she got nervous and started crying."
Almestica originally tried to rob another bank, but got too nervous. The Post says Almestica faces 9 years in jail. And a friend wrote on her MySpace page, "YOOO IS MARY IN JAIL???? DATS THE WORD ON THE STREET"
Recently, the NY Sun reported that robberies by bank note far outnumbered bank robberies with guns.