The Empire Strikes Bank
Police are investigating the robbery of a Chase bank branch in Setauket by a man wearing a Darth Vader mask and a cape. [Surveillance VIdeo Still]
New York Daily News via YellowBrix
July 23, 2010
LONG ISLAND – A lot of robbers use force. This one used the Force.
A bandit decked out in a Darth Vader costume strolled into a Long Island bank on Thursday – and walked out with a wad of cash.
The villain looked ready for Halloween, wearing the “Star Wars” scoundrel’s signature mask and sweeping black cape.
He lost some authenticity points for a pair of camouflage pants.
The getup struck one customer as so funny that he started joshing with the Darth Robber after he strode into the Chase bank in Setauket.
“The customer thought it might have been a joke, and not a serious attempt at a robbery,” said Suffolk County police Detective Sgt. William Lamb.
But Darth wasn’t kidding – and he wasn’t going to be stopped by a non-Jedi Knight.
He won a “shoving match” against the incredulous customer before using his piece to order him to the floor, Lamb said.
Cops released a surveillance camera image yesterday showing Darth at the teller counter, loading bills into a bag, while the customer cowers on the floor.
The fake Darth made a quick-footed getaway, and the bank was still checking its drawers late yesterday to figure out how large his take was, Lamb said.
It was the second recent off-the-wall bank robbery. On Wednesday, NYPD cops arrested a man dubbed the “Bouquet Bandit,” saying he brought flowers and potted plants into banks he robbed.