Police Nab Alleged Serial Bank Robber After Matching His Handwriting to Threatening Notes in Failed Heists

Police Nab Alleged Serial Bank Robber After Matching His Handwriting to Threatening Notes in Failed Heists
New York State Department of Corrections

New York City detectives nabbed an alleged serial bank robber after matching his handwriting to threatening notes used in two failed bank heists.

The NYPD announced Wednesday that Christopher Kelly, 41, has been arrested and charged with attempted robbery in connection with the two failed bank heists in Brooklyn.

Investigators identified Kelly as a suspect because they noticed his handwriting matched the writing on the notes in the attempted heists.

Authorities busted Kelly for several bank robberies in 2016, and he served two years behind bars on robbery and drug possession convictions.

Kelly gained parole after serving nine months of his sentence, court records show.

Police say Kelly went back to his former life as a bank robber February 20 when he appeared at a Bank of America branch in Bushwick at 10 a.m. to pass along a written threat to a teller.

“I just took a picture and sent it to a friend who will visit you if I don’t have your cooperation,” Kelly wrote in his note, according to court documents. “I need 100s and 50s. Top drawer. Don’t sound the alarm until I leave and give me my note back!”

Kelly allegedly retreated when the teller refused to bow to his demands, and the teller gave the note to investigators.

The next day, police say the suspect showed up at a Chase bank branch near Vanderbilt Avenue at 4:45 p.m., passing a different note along to the teller.

“This is a robbery and I am armed,” Kelly wrote, according to court documents. “100s and 50s only. No dye packs. Sound the alarm after I leave and give me the note back!”

The Chase bank teller also refused to kowtow to the suspect’s demands and passed the note along to the authorities.

Once detectives saw his handwriting and connected it to the notes he penned in his previous crimes, cops arrested him at “an assistance home.”

Kelly appeared in court for his arraignment hearing Wednesday, where a judge ordered his bond be set at $50,000.

The handwriting on a heist note can tell a lot about the robber behind it. In 2008, police nabbed a robber known as “the diamond-note guy” for robbing 18 banks in Long Island because authorities noticed he wrote diamond shapes in place of ovals when penning his letters.

In other cases, some bank robbers are identified by what they wear — like one serial bank robber who was busted in 2016 for robbing six New York City banks after authorities identified him as wearing a quirky collection of hats in surveillance footage from each bank.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.