An unarmed man jumped over the counter of the Bank of America at 88 Broadway St. Tuesday afternoon, stealing thousands of dollars before escaping in a car idling outside, New Haven Police Detective Chris Rubino said.
New Haven Police spokesperson Bonnie Winchester said the suspect, a black male in his early 30s, entered the bank around 3 p.m. and quickly escaped with the money. Police said no arrests have been made as of Thursday, though Rubino said the police currently have one suspect.
After taking “a couple of thousand dollars,” Rubino said the man fled in a Chevy Blazer driven by woman whose role in the robbery is still under investigation.
“She drove him a couple of blocks,” Rubino said. “He jumped out and ran a couple of streets.”
New Haven Police brought the woman driving the vehicle in for questioning, but she has not been charged, Winchester said Thursday.
University Police Lt. Michael Patten said officer Charlie Hebron radioed in a description of the escape vehicle after a witness of the robbery flagged Hebron down. With the information provided by the radio description, Patten said Yale Police officer Alex Rivera spotted the vehicle, but the man exited the car and fled on foot before police could apprehend him.
While it was initially believed that the man boarded a public city bus after leaving the vehicle, Rubino said subsequent police investigation disproved this theory. Police now contend the man escaped on foot.
Rubino also said an exploded dye pack helped bring the thief to witnesses’ attention. The robber was marked by a dye pack that had been hidden in the money by the bank and that subsequently exploded all over the culprit. Dye packs are commonly used by banks to protect against thieves, he said.
Eloise Hale, a spokesperson for Bank of America, said it was the company’s policy to not comment on the bank’s security measures, including information on the number of security cameras in the bank or the employment of a security guard. Winchester said there were no clear pictures of the robber from security cameras.
“The cameras in the bank only captured images of his clothing,” Winchester said.
Alex Liftman, Bank of America media relations officer for Connecticut, said the bank does not comment on the details of bank robberies.
Winchester estimated in an e-mail that around 10 bank robberies had occurred in New Haven last year but could not determine how many of those had taken place in Bank of America or Fleet banks. Fleet was recently acquired by Bank of America.
John Hansen-Brevetti ’07 , a customer of Bank of America, said news of the robbery did not affect his choice to use the bank on Broadway, though he said he felt wary of using its ATM at night.
“It does not influence my decision to come here,” he said, “But I wouldn’t want to come here after 11 o’clock.”