Posts Tagged ‘an employee of the armored-car company’
August 16, 2012 Leave a comment
Manhattan NY Aug 16 2012 When a man staged a brazen daylight robbery of an armored-car guard in Manhattan four years ago and made off with $330,000, the police immediately suspected an inside job.
Sure enough, within hours, the police had arrested Robert Blackmon, an employee of the armored-car company, Dunbar Armored, saying he had called in sick that day so that he could rob a co-worker as she was dropping off cash at a branch of M & T Bank, at 397 First Avenue.
But investigators from the Federal Bureau of Investigation had always believed more people were involved, law enforcement officials said.
It took years, but on Wednesday the F.B.I. announced that it had arrested the rest of those it said were involved — including the guard who was robbed on that September day in 2008.
“It took some real hard, diligent investigative work to locate these people and put this case back on the map,” J. Peter Donald, an F.B.I. spokesman, said.
The suspects arrested on Wednesday included Janell Nelson, 26, the armored-car courier who was robbed; Kyonta Bailey, 27; Wadner Philippe, 29; and Pearl McDougald, 30.
By the time the authorities closed in on the suspects, the money had all been spent and all four thought they were in the clear, living comfortably in New Jersey, according to law enforcement officials.
The indictment, filed on Wednesday, portrays a plan undone by carelessness and a confidential witness who provided the authorities with key details in the case.
On Sept. 30, 2008, around 9:20 a.m., a man wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt approached Ms. Nelson as she made her way into the bank, according to the indictment.
The man took her bag with the cash, as well as her gun, and ran off to a waiting getaway car, according to the indictment.
The man who grabbed the bag is not identified by name in the indictment, but is referred to as a confidential witness; when he was arrested in 2008, Mr. Blackmon was identified as the robber. Law enforcement officials would not comment on the identity of the confidential witness, and they also declined to comment on the status of any prosecution of Mr. Blackmon.
The group later divided the profits at the Spring Lane Motel in Elizabeth, N.J., the indictment said.
The day after the robbery, Ms. Bailey was feeling so confident that she spoke to reporters, who called to inquire about her girlfriend, Ms. Nelson.
“I was so scared for her, and I know she had to be scared,” Ms. Bailey told The Daily News. “She loves her job.”
But the police already suspected that Ms. Nelson, far from being scared, was a possible accomplice. They searched her cellphone on the day of the robbery, but found no hard evidence to implicate her.
In the years that followed, the joint F.B.I. and Police Department task force on bank robberies was disbanded, and the case languished. But about a year ago, a new F.B.I. investigator began to pursue new leads aggressively and to re-examine old evidence, according to a law enforcement official familiar with the investigation.
In addition to Mr. Blackmon, another person had already been arrested in the case. According to the indictment, an unnamed person arrested had helped investigators track down Ms. Nelson.
In a conversation with an unnamed co-conspirator monitored by investigators last spring, Ms. Nelson flaunted the fact that she was not worried about being arrested.
“I’m not really doing nothing as far as, like, hiding,” Ms. Nelson said, according to court documents. “If they wanted to come to my house, they could easily find out where I live.”
On Wednesday, investigators knocked on her door and arrested her.
Janice K. Fedarcyk, the F.B.I.’s assistant director in charge of the New York office, said that although no one was hurt in the robbery, it was important to remember that lives were put at risk.
“Inside job or not, the defendants’ scheme involved real weapons, and innocent people were put in real jeopardy in the process,” she said in a statement.