Cops: Levittown heroin addict linked to bank robberies
A Levittown heroin addict who robbed a bank was quickly arrested by Nassau police as he tried to escape with the loot, and robbery squad detectives then connected him to more than a dozen other bank heists in Nassau this year, police said.
Ryan McCarthy, 28, of 29 Low Lane, was charged with 14 counts of robbery and one of attempted robbery.
McCarthy robbed the banks to help pay for drugs, said Det. Sgt. John Giambrone, commanding officer of the Nassau County Police robbery squad.
"Ryan went on this spree fueled by a heroin addiction," Giambrone said. "Ryan was using approximately 30 bags of heroin a day and needed to rob banks to support his habit."
McCarthy would sometimes commit the robberies while high on drugs, Giambrone said.
The habit cost McCarthy about $300 or $400 a day, Giambrone said, and the money stolen during the robberies netted about $10,000 or $12,000 during the spree.
He robbed the same Roslyn Savings Bank branch three times in July, and pulled off robberies each at Commerce Bank branches too, police said.
Cops caught McCarthy while staked outside a Capital One bank branch Tuesday, police said. In that robbery, McCarthy entered the Capital One bank branch at 369 Merrick Ave. in East Meadow, at around 2 p.m., and handed a teller a threatening demand note, police said.
The teller gave him cash and he ran away headed east on Warren Street with about $800, where he was soon pursued by a Nassau cop who arrested him with the help of First Precinct police officers, police said. They recovered all the money.
During the robberies, McCarthy wore long-sleeved shirts to hide the tattoos on his arms, Giambrone said. He generally wore a baseball cap that said "NY," as well as latex gloves, Giambrone said.
"His MO would just be to go in, pass the teller that note, and then get in and out of there as quickly as possible," Giambrone said.
McCarthy, who is hospitalized, court records said, was to be arraigned yesterday. A police spokeswoman said McCarthy is hospitalized for a "prior medical condition." She said she could not elaborate.