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There seems to be a new trend developing in bank robbing in Queens, one that highlights what many have long said: people with physical disabilities are just like everyone else. A thief in a wheelchair held up a TD Bank yesterday, making this the second wheelchair bank hold-up in Queens since June, according to the New York Daily News.
The thief reportedly rolled to the counter and handed the teller a note stating that he had a bomb and a gun. He demanded cash and received it, then fled south on Queens Boulevard with an undisclosed sum. He has not been caught.
Although reports do not reveal how much money the bank robber got this week, a similar heist in June yielded about $1,200 for the robber. The June robbery took place at a different bank, Santander, at a not-too-distant location from the bank robbed yesterday.
Descriptions of the man responsible for the most recent robbery are similar to those given in the June heist. Both suspects are said to be young black men, around 20 years of age, although there is no word yet whether police suspect that the same man committed both crimes. There is surveillance footage from both incidents.
Robbery is theft plus threat of force. Most states define the crime as theft or larceny of property or money using physical force or threat of force.
When a person takes something from another, and the victim is unaware of the taking or is not threatened in any way, it is a theft, or a taking, but not a robbery. Similarly, if a thief burglarizes a home but there is no one present to feel frightened by the break-in, it is just a burglary.
The threat element is what makes a robbery different from a theft or a burglary, and it was definitely present here. Although no one was expecting a man in a wheelchair to rob a bank -- much less two -- in Queens in broad daylight, if caught, he will no doubt be punished for the threatening notes.
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