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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Serial Bank Robber Indicted for Robbing and Attempting to Rob Nine Banks in Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan

Defendant Passed a Note to Bank Teller Stating, “IF I SHOOT SOMEONE ITS ON YOU!”

An indictment was unsealed today in federal court in Brooklyn charging Richard Wardell Johnson with nine counts of bank robbery.  Johnson, who was arrested on May 29, 2018 on a criminal complaint, is in federal custody and will be arraigned on a later date.

Richard P. Donoghue, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, William F. Sweeney, Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI), and James P. O’Neill, Commissioner, New York City Police Department (NYPD), announced the charges.

 “As alleged, Richard Wardell Johnson robbed and attempted to rob nine banks across three New York City boroughs in less than a month,” stated United States Attorney Donoghue.  “This Office and our law enforcement partners will ensure that criminals who endanger bank employees and members of our communities will be held responsible.”

“Over the course of nearly 30 days, Johnson allegedly carried out a string of robberies, accompanied with threats of violence,” stated FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Sweeney.  “Focusing merely on a quick and easy profit, Johnson put innocent lives around him in danger. Now that his chain of robberies has come to an end, Johnson will rightfully be brought to justice.”
                       
“Shortly after Mr. Johnson’s last attempt to get some quick cash, our patrol cops got him – and he’s no longer a menace running around our neighborhoods,” stated NYPD Commissioner O’Neill. “By working closely with our federal partners at the FBI and the Eastern District of New York, the NYPD will continue to aggressively investigate and pursue all bank robbery cases to minimize the threat criminals like Mr. Johnson pose in our community.”

As detailed in publicly filed documents, between April and May of 2018, Johnson robbed six banks, and attempted to rob three others in Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan.  During the May 18, 2018 robbery he entered an M&T Bank branch, on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn and presented a note to the teller, stating “DON’T TOUCH THAT ALARM! $2000.00 NO DUMMY PACK.  IF I SHOOT SOMEONE ITS ON YOU!”  The teller notified a security guard at the bank and pointed out the defendant.  The security guard exited the bank, followed Johnson on foot while he called 9-1-1 and reported the crime.  The NYPD apprehended Johnson nearby a short time later.

The indictment charges Johnson with the following robberies and attempted robberies:

  • Chase Bank branch in Queens, New York, on April 23, 2018 (attempted);
  • Chase Bank branch in Brooklyn, New York, on April 23, 2018;
  • Chase Bank branch in Queens, New York, on April 30, 2018;
  • Chase Bank branch in Brooklyn, New York, on May 2, 2018;
  • Chase Bank branch in Manhattan, New York, on May 7, 2018;
  • Citibank branch in Brooklyn, New York, on May 12, 2018;
  • Chase Bank branch in Brooklyn, New York, on May 15, 2018 (attempted);
  • HSBC Bank branch in Manhattan, New York, on May 17, 2018; and
  • M&T Bank branch in Brooklyn, New York on May 18, 2018 (attempted).

The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s General Crimes Section.  Special Assistant United States Attorney Andrew D. Grubin is in charge of the prosecution. 

The Defendant:

RICHARD WARDELL JOHNSON
Age: 63          

EDNY Docket No.: 18-CR-386 (DLI)

Topic(s): 
Consumer Protection
Contact: 
John Marzulli Tyler Daniels United States Attorney’s Office (718) 254-6323
Updated July 25, 2018