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Justice News

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

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Cheektowaga Man Charged With Bank Robbery

CONTACT:      Barbara Burns
PHONE:         (716) 843-5817
FAX:            (716) 551-3051

BUFFALO, N.Y.—Acting U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Thomas Cascio, 51, of Cheektowaga, NY, was arrested and charged by criminal complaint with bank robbery. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.  
Assistant U.S. Attorney Meghan A. Tokash, who is handling the case, stated that according to the complaint, on March 6, 2017 at approximately 1:09 p.m., an individual entered the Key Bank at 5200 Main Street in Amherst, NY. The individual, wearing a hard hat, safety vest, and eye protection goggles, approached a teller and passed a bank robbery note. The teller only recalls reading the word “Robbery” at the top of the note before the individual took the note back and told her to “Hurry up!” and “Don’t give me funny money!” The teller gave money to the individual who then departed the bank. Witnesses described the individual as having a distinctive beak like nose and gray hair.

The Amherst Police Department issued a high quality bank robbery surveillance photo to local media stations which aired the photo on the evening of March 6, 2017 asking for public assistance. On March 7, 2017, a total of eight people contacted either the Amherst Police Department or FBI identifying the robber as Thomas Cascio. In addition, there were numerous anonymous calls to the Amherst Police Department that identified Cascio as the bank robber.

In 2000, the defendant was convicted in federal court of four bank robberies and sentenced to 48 months in prison. In some of those robberies, Cascio’s movements were similar to his alleged movements on May 6, 2017, including taking the note back from the teller before leaving the bank.

In 2009, Cascio was convicted in state court of three bank robberies and served two years in prison.

The defendant made an initial appearance this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge H. Kenneth Schroeder and is being detained.

The complaint is the culmination of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Adam S. Cohen; the Amherst Police Department, under the direction of Chief John Askey; and the Cheektowaga Police Department, under the direction of Chief David Zack.  

The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.  

Updated March 10, 2017