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A note-passing bandit who knocked over more than a half dozen southern Brooklyn banks was taken into custody on Sept. 1 — all because he bragged about his misdeeds on his Facebook page.
FBI investigators connected Fort Tilden HS graduate Jesse Hippolite to the string of robberies, which began as far back as Dec. 22, after a licence plate number of a getaway car used at one of the heists led them to the suspect’s Facebook page, where Hippolite called himself “Willie Sutton Jr.” in honor of the notorious bank robber.
Federal investigators said Hippolite had “several relevant entries” about the bank robberies on his Facebook page. Some of them could even be construed as would-be confessions about his criminal activities, he said.
“I gotta get that $$$ Man!” Hippolite wrote on his Facebook page just 47 minutes before he robbed a Chase Bank branch on Flushing Avenue near Washington Avenue in Clinton Hill on July 1.
He also wrote, “What if we all got fed up with this recession and started running inside every [expletive] bank [and demand they] give us the money that belongs to us?” three days after knocking over a bank in Queens, investigators said.
Hippolite also posted photos of himself counting money on his Facebook page — which investigators believe to be proceeds from his heists.
Investigators say that Hippolite would cover his face with hats, sunglasses and scarves before going into a bank. He would then hand over a threatening note reading “Give me $100 amd $50 bills or else everyone will die.”
His successes were hit or miss, but when a teller fell for his alleged threat, Hippolite would rake in more than $1,000 at a clip, police sources said, adding that Hippolite never displayed a weapon.
Brooklyn bank branches on Hippolite’s extensive hit list included:
• A Chase Bank on Kings Highway near E. 2nd Street in Midwood. Police allege that Hippolite began his criminal career there on Dec. 22, when he passed his note, then fled the bank on foot.
• A Chase Bank on Kings Highway near E. 15th Street. Hippolite again passed a demand note on Dec. 30, took some cash and ran off, police said.
• A Chase Bank on Ralph Avenue near Avenue N in Mill Basin. He robbed the bank branch on Jan. 22 during a daring afternoon robbery.
• A Chase Bank on 18th Avenue near 65th Street. He entered the bank on Feb. 7 and passed his demand note, but fled the bank empty-handed, police say.
• A Chase Bank on 86th Street near 16th Avenue. Police claim Hippolite entered the bank on June 14 — four months after his last heist — and handed off a note reading “Give me all the money or else everyone dies.” He ran off with $2,000, fleeing the scene in a white Nissan Altima that was later identified as belonging to Hippolite’s friend. Both men had been arrested together for jumping a turnstile in May, 2010.
• A Capital One Bank on Ralph Avenue near Avenue K. Witnesses said the thief got on line at about 4:25 pm on June 17, slipped the teller a note, and walked off with $1,400.
• A Capital One Bank on Avenue U near Ocean Avenue on June 22.
• A Chase Bank branch on Flushing Avenue in Clinton Hill on July 1, where he swiped more than $7,000.
• A Chase Bank branch on Avenue U near E. 65th Street in Mill Island on Aug. 26, where he took $3,500. By this time, investigators were already onto Hippolite and had secreted a “slap on” navigation system on his friend’s Altima. Telemetry received from the navigation system put the car twelve blocks away from the Avenue U Chase branch a short time before it was robbed and left moments after Hippolite exited the bank.
It’s quite a resume, but the Facebook posts and the navigation readouts only connect him to three of the robberies, police said. Hippolite covered his face up so well that he could never have been identified from any of the surveillance cameras at the branches he’s robbed, they explained.
Attempts to reach Douglas Morris, Hippolite’s attorney, were unsuccessful by late Thursday.
©2011 Community Newspaper Group
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