A group of wily bank robbers managed to break into a Maspeth Federal Savings bank by cutting a hole through the roof to access the bank's vault. When they finished the job, they left what looks like dozens of safe deposit boxes on the roof.

A bank employee noticed the missing safe deposit boxes and the hole in the ceiling of the Rego Park bank yesterday morning around 8:30 a.m.

The heist was rather clever, as PIX 11 describes, "Thieves stole a ladder from a nearby home to get onto the roof. They then constructed a wooden box to hide themselves while boring a hole in the ceiling of the bank. That hole led right into the vault where the safety deposit boxes were kept. One by one, dozens of boxes were taken to the roof, where thieves emptied the boxes of customers' possessions. They then cut a hole in the back fence and escaped, undetected."

Police say that the thieves cut wires before the robbery so there's no surveillance footage. And, besides the customers' safe deposit boxes, the vault contains cash for tellers.

It's unclear when this happened, but the bank closed for business on Saturday at 1 p.m. and was closed all Sunday before reopening on Monday. The NY Times reports:

John Greco, who owns the house behind Maspeth Federal Savings Bank, said he called [the police] on Saturday to report suspicious findings in his backyard: a hole in the fence, an aluminum ladder painted flat black, a black box on the roof of the bank.

He made the call at 4:11 p.m., Mr. Greco said. The desk sergeant said he would get back to him, Mr. Greco said. And he did.

“He says, ‘I guess you own a ladder.’ Quote,” Mr. Greco recounted Monday evening.

The police wouldn't confirm Greco's call to the Times.

Customers have not been able to learn whether their items were taken yet; one said, "My whole life can be ruined."

A spokesman for the bank said, "We are hopeful that the breach will have only affected a limited portion of the boxes rented on site, and for those that were breached, that some of the items may have been left behind by the perpetrators and be recoverable after the police finish investigating."

Authorities believe that this robbery is linked to nine other similar bank robberies where the thieves gain access by cutting a hole in the roof. In April, a Borough Park HSBC was robbed of $280,000. The robberies have taken place in Brooklyn and Queens.