[UPDATE BELOW] The man who robbed a bank in Chelsea last Thursday morning armed with a bouquet of flowers is believed to have previously struck another bank in the neighborhood on July 8th. His weapon of choice on that occasion? A potted plant. But this time, he didn't even have the common courtesy to leave it behind for the teller, like he did with the flowers.
Police sources tell ABC News that the suspect, who is described as a black man in his early 30s, about 5-feet-9, walked into a Capital One branch on West 23rd Street near Ninth Avenue carrying the potted plant. The suspect set down the plant and then told the teller, "Give me all your 100s and 50s, no dye pack, no bait money." When the teller took too long to comply, the robber reached over the counter and grabbed over $2,000. He then ran off with the money and his precious plant.
The Daily News got some fun quotes from the locals. "I think he was very creative. The flowers would have fooled me," said 81-year-old Beverly Hauser. "New York is New York. Terrible things happen, and wonderful things happen." And Matt Dubeau, who was using an ATM at one of the Chelsea banks targeted by the thief, opined, "Better flowers than a gun, I guess. The flowers are a nice touch. It's a little more creative than the usual bank robber—not that I know that many bank robbers." Not many, eh Dubeau? We think you're wanted downtown for questioning.
UPDATE 12:37 p.m.: Police say the bouquet bandit's misuse of flower power is over. Sources tell the Post that police have arrested one Edward Pemberton, 44, at a relatives' home in Bed-Stuy. He has had 14 previous arrests, mainly for drugs, but according to the Daily News he had been working lately in—wait for it—Chelsea's Flower District (AKA West 28th Street).