Volume 22, Number 14 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | Aug. 14 - 20, 2009
Arrest in bank robberies
Detectives from the Manhattan Major Case Squad arrested Frank Bonacorso, 48, a Chelsea resident, on Wed. Aug. 5 and charged him with robbing five banks and attempting to rob two others in Lower Manhattan, Soho, Greenwich Village, the Upper West Side and the Upper East Side between June 17 and July 22.
The suspect was charged with passing notes to the tellers in the seven banks. He hit the Valley National branch on 434 Broadway near Howard St. at 2:10 p.m. on July 21 but fled when the teller refused to hand over any money, according to the complaint filed by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office. Twenty minutes later he passed a note to a teller at the Emigrant Savings branch at 110 Church St. near Park Pl. and again fled when the teller refused to give him money, according to prosecutors.
But he stole $3,060 from the HSBC branch on Sixth Ave. at Waverly Pl. on July 22, the complaint charges. On June 17 the suspect hit the HSBC branch on Third Ave. at 68th St. and made off with $500, and on June 23, he stole $1,410 from the TD branch on Columbus Ave. at W. 86th St. On June 29 he robbed the HSBC branch at 45 E. 89th St of $977 and on July 6 he stole $1,500 from the Country Bank branch at Second Ave. at 48th St., the complaint says. Bonacorso was being held in lieu of bail pending a court date next week.
A group of men confronted a victim, 41, on Bowery and Prince St. around 10:50 p.m. Sat., Aug. 8 and one of them snatched his iPod, police said. The victim tried to take it back but the attackers hit him with beer bottles and left him bleeding from a head laceration, police said.
Authorities on Aug. 6 arrested Tong Hui You and Xiao Ling Chen, who had offices first at 9 E. Broadway and currently at 15 Division St., for illegally practicing law and operating a fraudulent immigration consultation service.
The defendants were indicted for grand larceny, fraud, practicing as an attorney without being admitted to the bar and violating the city’s Immigration Assistance Services Law. The indictment is the first time the city immigration law has been criminally enforced, according to a spokesperson for District Attorney Robert Morgenthau.
The indictment says that Chen, known as Linda Chen, was the president of Da Bure Immigration Consultation where You, known as Kevin, purported to be a lawyer and represented that he had special connections in the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services agency and the U.S. Embassy in China.
The defendants took $4,840 from a client, promising that relatives in China would get immigration approval within six months and that relatives in the U.S. would receive green cards. The promises were false and the victim went to a Chinatown civic group, which referred the victim to the District Attorney’s office.
Two suspects approached a victim, 25, on W. Broadway south of Canal St. around 1:30 a.m. Fri, Aug. 7, asked him for cigarettes, then pushed him to the pavement and grabbed his camera bag and fled, police said.
Burglary on Prince
A burglar broke into a Michael Kors boutique at 101 Prince St. at Mercer St. around 5:30 a.m. Fri., July 7 and made off with bags and sunglasses valued at $13,000, police said. A security guard at the Apple store next door was called away for a moment to admit an employee through a side door and returned to find the glass door of the boutique broken and a blue sedan being driven away, according to reports.
Seat belt leads to arrest
Police stopped a black Jeep at the northeast corner of Clarkson and Washington Sts. at 11:40 a.m. Fri., July 31 because the driver was not wearing a seat belt. Police say the driver, Charles Rhodie, 46, had no documentation for the vehicle and it had been listed as stolen. Rhodie was charged with possession of stolen property.
— Albert Amateau