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Man Accused of Trying to Rob Bank Outside Penn Station Has Long Rap Sheet

By Ben Fractenberg | October 15, 2010 7:25pm | Updated on October 16, 2010 10:31am
Police shot career criminal John Stolarz a day after he was released from prison.
Police shot career criminal John Stolarz a day after he was released from prison.
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AP Photo/Lennihan

By Ben Fractenberg

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

MANHATTAN — A man arrested after an alleged bank robbery attempt near Penn Station on Thursday reportedly has a rap sheet dating back to the 1950s.

John "Johnny Shades" Stolarz has been convicted of crimes in at least eight different states and was arrested twice for impersonating a military officer during a lifetime of crime dating back to 1959, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Stolarz decided to hold up a Chase Bank near Penn Station just one day after being released from federal prison for armed bank robbery, police said.

Police shot him in the leg after he refused to drop a knife he used to rob the bank, the NYPD said.

He was rushed to Bellevue Hospital, where he is in stable condition and is reportedly facing charges including first-degree robbery and criminal possession of a weapon.

Federal authorities released a criminal complaint against Stolarz on Friday, that accused him of bank robbery.

Some highlights of Stolarz criminal career include arrests in 1959 and 1964 for impersonating an officer in the US Air Force; a 1968 arrest for forging federal bonds in New Jersey; and an unsuccesful attempt to rob a California post office in 1974, The New York Times reported.

Solarz was arrested in Las Vegas for escaping prison in 1979, and then broke out of jail again in December of the same year.

Finally, in 1988, he was arrested and charged with robbing three banks. He was sentenced to over 21 years and eight months in jail, the Times reported.

He did his time, and was released Wednesday — enjoying about a day of freedom before walking into one more bank.