A bank robber with a deformed lip who earned the name the Harlem “Broadway Bandit” is facing federal bank robbery charges, according to an indictment from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.
Jamie Frierson, a 47-year-old man living in a Harlem hotel, will face one charge of federal bank robbery, but has been tied to as many as seven heists in Manhattan since Aug. 16, federal officials said. The charge contains a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison.
“As alleged, Jaime Frierson went on a one-man crime spree, brazenly attempting to rob seven Manhattan banks in broad daylight in less than two weeks. Frierson allegedly threatened the lives of bank tellers to get away with thousands of dollars in cash,” Acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim said in a statement. “This alleged conduct endangered the safety of New Yorkers and traumatized bank employees, and I commend our partners at the FBI for their terrific work in apprehending this defendant.”
The “Broadway Bandit” was arrested Wednesday after an FBI agent reviewed security video footage from an Aug. 29 robbery committed by Frierson in an Upper West Side bank, according to a federal indictment. Frierson entered a Bank of America branch on Broadway and West 72nd Street shortly after 3 p.m. and handed the teller a note reading “I am armed I will kill your host if you don’t give me all money,” according to an indictment.
Out of fear for the lives of bank employees, the teller gave Frierson approximately $8,050, federal officials said. During the robbery Frierson told the teller not to “make it look suspicious” and directed the teller to empty out the drawer’s 100s, 50s and 20s.
An FBI agent used surveillance footage from that robbery to determine that Frierson got into a yellow cab after the heist. The agent then used records from the Taxi and Limousine Comission to determine the ride ended at West 145th Street and Broadway, according to an indictment. A grocery store employee was able to make a positive identification of Frierson, who was living in a hotel on West 145th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue, according to an indictment.
Frierson is only being charged for the Aug. 29 robbery on the Upper West Side but has been connected to six other bank robberies committed between Aug. 16 and Aug. 29.
“We have to assume as law enforcement that anyone who allegedly threatens violence during a bank robbery is capable of carrying out that threat,” FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William F. Sweeney Jr. said in a statement. “No one can predict an alleged criminal’s behavior, and the uncertainty increases the urgency to solve the robberies.”
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Frierson’s case is being handled by the U.S. Attorney’s general crimes unit, according to federal officials.
Photo by NYPD